As it’s sometimes expressed, “Out with the old and in with the new!” Everything seems to have a limited useful life. Time progresses and inevitably takes its toll. Nothing lasts forever, right?
In the computer world, we are bombarded with mandates to regularly update and upgrade. Eventually, the experts inform, programs and applications become obsolete or can’t be salvaged and need to be replaced. Software and operating systems, we know, always seem to have that dreaded expiration date.
The length of time has now exceeded four decades, which to me seems like plenty. In all honesty, life was quite hunky-dory for the majority of the time and could even be described as copacetic. With a splash of humility, admittedly I set a fairly vigorous pace over the years and, for all intents and purposes she, generally speaking, managed to keep up.
In due time, however, reality set in. In our case, the deterioration started about, it seemed, a couple years ago. We had our suspicions as to the cause of the decline, but to this point, none of them have been officially confirmed. There was a question of the existence of some precipitating events, but we found nothing conclusive.
During the course of the gradual descent, we both sought counsel and direction from a variety of sources. Of no surprise, we consulted friends and family, explored the internet and even attempted our own diagnosis and remedy, but to no avail.
To satisfy any naysayers who are inclined to jump to some premature conclusions, attempts were made, even valiant ones, to rectify what had gone wrong. Yes, we even invested in some of the experts in the field who offered a regimen of extensive therapies and even medications. So please abstain from bounding onto the bandwagon of faultfinding. We kindly ask you to carefully step off the cart and mosey on home.
Simply put, we knew something was amiss, and truthfully we exerted a good-faith effort to make it right. As previously argued, under examination utilizing a broad range of guidance, nothing seemed to cure the ill effects. I suppose, one could argue, it felt agonizingly like taking, “One step forward, and two steps back!”
She and I were both, literally, tired of it all. What’s more, as time marched on, the pain seemed to intensify, which did nothing to assuage the distance that had already appeared between us. Pushed to the limits during some of the more intensely frustrating days, I’ll admit that I would go my way and she hers.
Believe me, I too struggled with the fact we had our differences. As a bit of an extravert myself, I enjoyed getting out, taking an adventure or simply stretching my legs. The gap between us grew as she just wasn’t up to it anymore. It’s not like I planned or even wanted to leave her in my wake.
Finally, the last straw, or if you prefer, a defining moment, arrived. The brutal truth of overwhelming evidence was staring us in the face. All the professionals concurred uniformly, and we both were resigned to agree.
I couldn’t be completely sure of what she was thinking at the time, but from my vantage point, I envisioned the prospect of one day getting a new hip wife! Booyah!
Almost instantaneously, both of us were thoroughly unburdened. When the determination was made, it was like a huge weight lifted. We hadn’t been walking side-by-side and in sync for quite a while.
There would be some papers to sign, agreements to be made, therapies to engage in, and, of course, checks to be written. Each of us will be taking some time off to figure out the next steps. We’ll both proceed cautiously at first. I’m relatively confident on how to move ahead. My hunch is, this will be much more challenging for her.
Already we’ve taken a class to learn what some of what the future holds. I tried my best to stay awake and pay attention. Without a doubt, much was going to change.
All things remaining equal, it’s scheduled to be a done deal early next week.
To any of the faithful out there, we covet your prayers for these coming days. I need them, but she, I must admit, needs them more.
Rest assured, I believe there is a “silver” lining to it all. Upon further exploration, I’ve learned the “silver” comes in the form of titanium with an accompanying cobalt chrome stem. Plans are to also mix in some ceramics and a polyethylene shell for good measure.
So, “Out with the old and in with the new!” My wife will be stepping into a new future of her own after, yes, hip replacement surgery come Tuesday. The bonus for me is that I get a new hip wife, and given successful surgery, recovery, and therapy, we will soon get to walk a few more decades side-by-side, God willing!
Ken Pollitz moved to Ottawa in 1991 as mission-developer/pastor of New Creation Lutheran Church. His biweekly column provides insights and viewpoints from Putnam County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org