I can relate to the war between Ukraine and Russia, in a way only an old coot can. I’m Ukraine and Father Time is Russia. America is the team of medical specialists, helping me withstand the onslaught. I’m bombed and attacked from the north, south, east and west. It’s a blitzkrieg that I face. One sector gets settled – my sore elbow repulses the attack and the Russians go after another with a missile raid, attacking the knuckles in my right hand, flaring up the once dormant arthritis.
My knuckles are the focus of my attention and continue to ache because I use that hand all the time, to swing a hammer or a golf club, untwist the top on a jar or turn a screwdriver. Though, it does come in handy when asked to perform an unpleasant task. “I’d love to help, but the arthritis in my hand is so bad I can’t.” Or, to explain why my golf ball went into the woods.
When my hand is under siege, I get no help from America, except to be told to take a pill and ease up on gripping things. Then, Russia takes advantage of my preoccupation and starts bombing my knee. Making me limp and yell, “Ouch,” at every misstep. My hopes of getting aid from America are dashed when they say, “We can replace the knee; it is bone on bone after all.” But I don’t want a replaced knee, not yet, anyhow, so I shrug and say, “No thanks,” and work on it myself, with an elastic sleeve and PT exercises.
But the Russians aren’t done with me. They go after the north quadrant, hitting me with red, itchy eye that feels like a speck of metal is stuck in it. America comes through this time with some defensive weaponry, a bottle of high-quality eye drop medication. In a few days, I’ve pushed back the Russian assault.
All is calm in the north. Then, they bomb my memory, agility, balance, and reflexes. My weakest sectors. But that’s where their air attack stalls. I can cope with the damage, but it looks like a long war ahead with no treaty in sight. That’s okay. I’ve prepared for this war all my life.
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