Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ode to Decrepit Bodies


A little over ten years ago I climbed a mountain behind my house. I live in a mountain valley (Bear Lake) and it was decreed that our stake YM\YW super summer activity would include climbing Baldy Mountain. (There are no trees on top of this mountain, hence it's name) Since I was serving in YW at the time, and I had a plethora of Mia Maids egging me on, I participated in this wondrous event. Long story short, I struggled making the climb. One leg completely shut down and I climbed the final portion of that mountain sitting down. I turned around, facing away from the mountain, and pulled myself up the rest of the way with my arms.

Not long after this adventure, I formed painful, strange looking lumps on both legs. A local doctor freaked, certain I had a form of bone cancer. Two out of town specialists vetoed that verdict; I was informed that I had lupus. It was explained that this is why I'm a Type 1 diabetic, and why I have a form of rheumatoid arthritis. The lumps on my legs were a result of a major arthritic flare, possibly triggered by my attempt to climb a mountain. Silly me.

I've found in my life that keeping a sense of humor about things is a great survival tool. I often find humor in items most people find less than funny. The poem I'm sharing today is an example of this tendency. (Incidentally, the word in the first verse, 3rd line, it as intended. Clime is my twist on "climate," not the "climb" that led to so much fun.)

Ode to Decrepit Bodies

Life is full of challenges, of this I will admit---
Most of mine are due to my body throwing a major fit.
It doesn't like the environment, it doesn't like the clime---
It doesn't like anything, I've noticed, most of the time!

Now I wouldn't really mind this, my spirit is a sport---
But the way my body's behaving, our time together will be short!
If things don't go quite its way, temper tantrums are often thrown---
If there ever was a doubt about who's boss, I'm surely being shown.

Joints stiffen, lumps appear, my blood sugar drops too low---
As my body makes it clear to me that some things have to go!
No more playing dodge ball, no more riding bikes uphill,
No more climbing mountains, it's against my body's will.

No more running with my boys, no more sitting on hard chairs---
It's really starting to irk me, the way my body's putting on these airs!
It hates the cold, it hates all storms, and loudly it complains---
I could be a forecaster; I always know when it snows and rains.

Somehow I have to reach a truce with this body I've been given---
Even though it's challenging enduring this life-style that we're livin'.
Never fear, I'll persevere when my body gets in the way,
Eventually I'll have my revenge on resurrection day!

Cheri J. Crane
1997

5 comments:

pebble said...

Love your poem Cheri, thanks for sharing it! Melinda in Mapleton (ldsFF)

Cheri J. Crane said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Melinda. Thanks for stopping by. ;)

Tristi Pinkston said...

That's great, Cheri! I argue with my body, too, but I intend to have the last laugh in the end, just like you say.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Cheri boy do you sing my song. I don't have the physical ailments you do but right now my body has turned on me with a vengeance. Loved the poem. And kudos to you for climbing that mountain. Last time I climbed a mountain I was 17 years older and two months shy of open heart surgery. Swore I'd never do that again, and I haven't. I will, however, drive to the top of one.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Tristi--I've spent most of the day arguing with my body. Good times. =) My joints are all currently predicting snow in the mountains by morning. Too bad I earn every snow flake. ;)

Candace---you've endured open heart surgery? That's a huge mountain to climb.