Dale Says

August 28, 2013

New Tennis Balls for Ina’s Walker

Filed under: Colorful Characters, Uncategorized — Dale @ 3:46 pm

Ina said she should have known it was time for new tennis balls on the feet of her walker. The dogs in her neighborhood were barking and running away when she walked the streets, because the metal legs of her walker were scraping on the sidewalks.

So I replaced the tennis balls, and her walker now glides along with barely a peep from the metal legs. Ina is happier and so are the neighborhood dogs.

That’s the kind of attitude Ina has. She has been given a lot to bear; she has a bad heart, a bad hip, bad eyes, and she has had to use a walker for 11 years.

But Ina doesn’t let it get her down. She carries on with her life, organizing and running the various errands and chores with a cheery attitude.

Each day requires a good deal of effort for Ina to work through her pain and maneuver her walker through her small apartment to get dressed, fix breakfast, and get out of the house. She doesn’t sit and mope about her troubles; instead, she has a regular schedule of neighborhood centers she goes to, and at each one she plays the piano and visits with the other guests.

Ina is in her mid-80’s (‘though she claims to be 39) and she lost her husband several years ago. She almost gave up then. But she decided to carry on, and to continue to play the piano, which is her greatest love.

Ina started having heart troubles a decade or so ago, and it has caused her to slow down, take medicine that causes other symptoms, and gives her pain. She could have given up then, but she decided to carry on.

Ina’s apartment was flooded a few months ago when a plumbing pipe in the apartment above her burst and water poured into her apartment. The carpets, walls, and fixtures were all ruined, and Ina had to move out into a series of nearby motels for several weeks while repairs were made. She could have given up then and moved into a nursing home. Instead, she bravely carried on, taking control of the dealings with the repair people, the insurance company, the landlord, and the various employees at the motels where she stayed. She was amazingly organized and brave. She went out and bought new furniture, rugs, and fixtures for her apartment, and she is now back comfortably settled back in.

Ina is also back at her regular schedule of piano-playing and lunches at the neighborhood centers. I see her every Friday for lunch and she is always dressed up, with make-up and lipstick, and a sunny desposition. It’s very inspiring!

People like Ina come from a different generation. They have been through a lot: a depression, world war, struggling to re-settled across a continent, marriage and raising children, working for over 40 years, and losing a spouse and most of their friends. But somehow they carry on. It’s a wonderful example for the rest of us.

20 Comments »

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