Richard Denning

To my friends who have witnessed me staggering around town the past two weeks I’d like to set the record straight: I have NOT been on a wild binge.

The doc tells me I have an “inner ear infection” which in turn causes vertigo, which means I have no balance. I’ve found the ailment immensely interesting in serious situations such as stepping into a pair of pants and carrying the offering plate in church.

To add to the fun, my lovely friend gout decided to pay a visit to my left foot for a few days. In order to walk I had to kick my foot forward and then swing it in a wide arc all the while maintaining outstretched arms to catch myself in case the vertigo caused me to fall. I looked like a mutated version of Frankenstein clomping down the hall. The cat was terrified and hid somewhere for several days.

As one ages, life tends to throw these types of situations at you on a regular basis. My mother always taught me to take life in stride, enjoying each day no matter what happened. She always told us kids that the first three letters in funeral are FUN and her positive attitude certainly helped in her final year.

A few months before she passed away Mom went into the back yard to let the dog out. Somehow she tripped and fell over, landing flat on her back. My mother was not a small woman and she found herself in a potentially dangerous situation. She called out, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Immediately she began to laugh uncontrollably as she remembered the television commercial featuring an elderly woman who had fallen, wishing she had the Medical Alert System. Realizing that no one would hear her and come to the rescue my mother laid on the ground, laughing, petting Maggie while enjoying the cloud formations in the beautiful Texas sky. Eventually she did manage to turn over and get up. Typical of my mother, she didn’t tell me about her ordeal until several weeks later.

One day as I dressed for work, I heard my wife cry out for help. I hurried outside to discover her prone body engulfed by the boxwoods. In an attempt to reach roses that grow up the wall behind the hedge, she had rested a stepladder against the fullness of the shrubs. As she leaned precariously over, stretching for a rose, the ladder slipped out from under her, depositing her gently onto the thick mass of limbs. She was stuck; couldn’t move; wasn’t going anywhere. If you’ve ever been caught in deep snow, you know the feeling.

I must admit that I took my time to observe the situation. I hurried inside to get the camera and snapped a few pictures, tickled her feet and smacked her gently on the rump before helping her back to terra firma. Fortunately for me she was laughing. Lucky for her I was home.

No matter what situation you might find yourself in, enjoy life to the fullest. It’s quite entertaining if you think about it.