June 28, 2005

The date, the day I last walked around the block. My sister and I had decided to stroll around the neighborhood on that beautiful summer evening.

Walking for me had become a challenge, a test of will between me and my deteriorating quarter century old left hip replacement. Anxiety had overtaken my adrenal system as I had envisioned the orthopedic x-ray revealing the two screws, perfectly broken as if a Mason had sawed them right in half. The special glow off the radioactive film brightly shone between the femur, the balled head of the femur and pelvic bone demonstrating proof positive the cement glue had dissipated. Walking around the block proved staying one foot ahead of a homebound life.

At the halfway mark around the neighborhood circle, my heart had pounded with a ferocity I had never known. No hyperventilation, no dizziness, no precursors to true, familiar anxiety attack. I slowed our pace and my sister held my hand. She snuck a check of my pulse and paled. She wrapped her arm around my waist in security, solidarity and sisterly concern. The episode had passed as we switched to a slug’s pace.

Believe you, me-never had the sight of our white-painted peeling front door been so enchanting, so enticing, so exciting! We crossed over our unlocked threshold and sighed in relief. Color, a carnation pink had redecorated my sister’s cheeks.

The phone rang.

Cheryl, PA – caller id informed.
 

Oh no.

I picked up immediately in fretful anticipation.

“What’s going on, Cheryl?”

“Pop, won’t make it through the night. His heart, he just,,can’t-”

We had sobbed, choking on words we had understood each sentence. She’d call me later. Cheryl knew I’d be there, in Spirit, with them in PA- even though my body had held me prisoner in Jersey.

Cheryl and I are sisters of choice.

Of chance.

Of Fate.

During high school, her brother Glenn and I had become kindred spirits; inseparable friends with a psychic and telepathic unbreakable connection. Invariably, his family had adopted me by default. I am blessed to be considered family, unconditionally loved for over twenty-five years.

Glenn died in 1992.

He left me
his family.

The walk had been surreal. As if Glenn had been forewarning me but I wasn’t listening. Who wants to know their adopted father prepared to meet the Grim Reaper?

Reunite with his son.

Surreal because staying one foot ahead of a homebound life sealed a promise I had made to Glenn before he crossed over. Staying one step ahead took every bit of strength I possessed. I had watched my life fade in front of my very eyes just as I had watched Glenn slip away before my eyes. I fought for survival because I could.

And because Glenn’s terminal diagnosis meant he could not.

He had made me promise to live my life. I heard his plea and my promise to abide in my mind more often than I care to count. I still hear his voice.

So, I persisted.

Frequently I wanted to kill Glenn, personally with my bare hands for suckering my heart strings into such a vow- jerk. I can hear him laughing right now, just in case you were wondering.

Yes, I fought
to live my life.

Not to be homebound watching life scurry past my crackled front door and smuged windows. I had calculated the time my left hip replacement began its demise to the moment the medical community deemed surgery “necessary.” 

Out of six years, I had spent two years and nine months stuck in my house from multiple soft tissue damage episodes incurred by the failing orthopedic hardware.

On June 28, 2005 I fought—I mean Mohammad Ali vs. George Forman Heavy Weight Championship Title on the line, fight of the century hard.

My freaky funk heart rate persisted until 5:03am, June 29, 2005.
 

The moment Pop and Glenn joyously reunited.                                                            

                                                                 ****

Left hip revision surgery may have transpired in January 2006 but my lingering fear of walking around the block alone remained intact. I needed the challenge to change from anxious to accomplished.

My last walk around the block?

December 22, 2010.

I created a photographic documentary of my “lone” mid-day walk.

Pop would be proud. He is proud. I feel him with me, everywhere. I am never really alone, never.

He walked with me each step. He pointed out photo ops, rogue pine cones and dangerously uneven concrete slabs. You know how Pops’ can be from anywhere, everywhere, anytime, anyplace—any space.

Ain’t life grand!

Thanks, Pop. Love you 🙂

My Walk Around the Block Begins

 

Looking Up on My Walk Around the Block

 

Berries and Brambles

 

Fungi on a Tree Trunk

 

Thank you, Frankie!

 

Remains of a Tree

 

In All My Shining Glory

 

Frosty and I hung out!

 

Four Different Trees 🙂

 

Sums up walk in one word

 

Home Sweet Home

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deb Maher
    Jan 23, 2011 @ 04:33:45

    An awesome post, Vikki. Your perseverance is inspiring. And I love the photos! 🙂

    Reply

  2. Pat Dolan
    Jan 24, 2011 @ 22:02:34

    Congratulations/thank you are the order of the day/year/week/month – the ever-present NOW!
    I love you!
    🙂

    Reply

    • Vikki Bakus
      Jan 25, 2011 @ 01:23:49

      Love you too! Yes, I NOW walk around the block, when the snow/ice melts. Who knows, I may take a wintery stroll 🙂

      Reply

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