The tablecloth


After suffering four days of excruciating pain, tension and frustration, he finally let go and accepted his fate. Day five saw him arise, tablecloth around his waist, tea-cup in hand, “any cake left?” he enquires.

In the strength of his manhood – my boy – last week severely damaged his back whilst dragging a water jet up and out of a sunken pool. Spraining, straining, tearing call it what you will – the medical profession don’t care – the agony is the same. As is the remedy; drugs and rest.
At the height of this pain, his disabled movement and helpless presence stirred great fears in our bellies. Was this what we had to contend with in old age? My once fit and agile man suddenly aging before me bent over, shuffling, incapable of getting dressed, hugging our children.
Stubborness and foolishness stopped him getting help until the day loomed when his screams and angst for recovery finally propelled him into action.
The French A&E staff, amused by this most common of accidents, pumped him with pain-killers, and, with a serene smile on his face, he began to walk with more agility. The drugs do work.
Pain, discomfort and illness are desperate states which the human body will naturally contend with. Accepting them and allowing yourself that moment to stop and recover, to let go of the world around you and force yourself to look after yourself is incredibly important.
This 24/7 world we inhabit does not tolerate excuses, accidents or problems, yet recuperation and rehabilitation are essential to maintain a physical and emotional recovery and equanimity.
Wear your tablecloth with pride and eat your cake in peace. Time out is time well spent.
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