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HERB BENHAM: Nothing hurt and it was a good day

I woke up recently and nothing hurt.

If that had been Dad, he might have said, "I woke up today and nothing hurt. I thought I was dead."

I remember that. I remember a lot of things. Hard not to remember and laugh because when things got serious, he didn't take himself too seriously.

I wanted to figure out what was going on. Why nothing hurt. If I could figure that out then maybe I could wake up tomorrow and nothing would hurt again.

However, what we want to be is not always meant to be. It's like surfing: You can have a glorious day, catch a bunch of waves, have the sun warm the back of your neck, but the ocean is not always the same two days in a row.

Most days are not no-hurt days. Not now, not yesterday, not the day before.

In fact, it had been awhile. Things hurt these days, starting with hands. People might call it arthritis but I'd rather not put a name on it because naming it is like inviting it to come in and set up shop.

Naming it is the medical version of Clint Eastwood's warning: "Don't let the old man in." Use words like arthritis and the next thing you are talking about bursitis, ankle-itis and elbow-itis. Any word that ends with itis is not your friend unless your friend is not the friend you thought was your friend.

I went back in time to see if I could figure out why I felt good. I deconstructed events from 2 a.m. forward. Then I realized it would be more accurate to include the last 24 hours and not just the two ibuprofen, I took at 2 a.m.

I had done a gentle yoga session for 30 minutes the day before. This wasn't the "Yoga for Seniors'' video I scrolled across on my way to gentle yoga because "Yoga for Seniors" is for seniors and I'm not one of those either. You might as well welcome one more itis.

Senior yoga is one step away from chair yoga. I do yoga on a purple mat and not in a chair. I have aspirations for my yoga practice and I give myself a big hug after I finish just like my teacher says.

Yoga might have helped feeling good. Especially Savasana, the corpse pose, that is often done at the end of a yoga session where you are lying on your back in a position that looks like sleeping, or resting but it's yoga so it's more dignified. I'm good at lying on the floor and bed. I can do that with the best of them.

It's the bending, stretching, twisting and doing anything that requires the slightest bit of flexibility that I struggle with.

That night before I fixed myself a Manhattan. My dad liked those and I liked my dad and he had days where nothing hurt so why not. I also took a Royal Blend CBD gummy, 750 milligrams of potential don't-hurt-no-more.

I don't know if it does any good. I think it does and when you think something does you have a tendency to believe that it might. Especially when you spend good money on a jar of these things.

I took a gummy, and then later in the middle of the night two ibuprofen because I'd gotten a post, the first part of a tooth implant from the smooth, competent Dr. Esla. His office, replete with white, oversized chairs and large mirrors, looked like the lobby of Caesars Palace. I'm surprised Siegfried and Roy didn't jump through the mirrors with a bunch of lions and tigers chasing them.

A red gummy, a stiff Manhattan — maybe even a double — a couple of ibuprofens, some gentle yoga and before bed, we watched two episodes of "This is Us," the best TV network show in 30 years.

The next morning nothing hurt. I felt like I was 12 again. I felt like I felt when nothing hurt except my feelings if somebody called me a runt.

Nothing hurt, it was spring, the hills were green, the fiddlenecks, lupin and popcorn were gracing us with their wildflower beauty.

I don't know but I did know, I wasn't dead yet. I'll take it. I'll take it without the promise that it might happen again because once right now is good enough.

•••

Janet Manning died recently. She was hurting but you hardly ever knew it. She didn't complain much. At least not to her friends.

We shared a birthday. If we didn't share it, we celebrated together because our birthdays were close enough. We'd have coffee and when we didn't because her back problems made it challenging to move around, we talked about having coffee.

She was the most positive person I've ever met. Even when she woke up and everything hurt. She had no intention of letting hurt get her down. Janet had no intention of denting whatever joy the person to whom she was talking might be feeling.

Janet always highlighted what she thought your contributions to the community might be. Although she was chatty, she was an "And Thou" person. Janet would tell you how great you were and was forceful and articulate, you'd almost believe her until your better judgment piped in and said, "Slow down, partner."

Janet finished every conversation with "Goodbye for now." Conversations ended with commas rather than periods. She would also tell you that she loved you.

Me too, Janet. Thank you. Goodbye for now.

Email contributing columnist Herb Benham at benham.herb@gmail.com. His column appears here on Sundays; the views expressed are his own.