Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is it Courage, Experience or Lack of Information?

My Mama is 92, and had hip replacement surgery today. All went well. Janice and I went to see her tonight. She was regaling us with tales of running away from a private school near her home in Floyd County Va., to go to college in Pikeville, Ky because she was made to wash dishes everyday at the private school.

The owner's daughter wasn't made to do a thing. Mama thought it unfair, and wrote Mr. Shank and his daughters, Manila and Francis to come pick her up on the road. Mr. Shank drove over to Buffalo Mt. Manila and her sister found an old path down to the school. Mama announced to Miss Gwen she was leaving and she and her friends walked back up the mountain carrying every thing she owned to where Mr. Shank was waiting. She says it was about 6 miles.

The question is this...do people make decisions based on courage of conviction, experience, or lack of information. All of the above? none of the above? Devine intervention? Random thought? Hmm...

Seems to me more courageous to leave the area you were born and raised... and go to a place where you have no friends ...to college on a work scholarship. All because you didn't like washing dishes at the private school? That sounds like inexperience and courage to me. There was no lack of information involved there.Must have been other factors at work.

Virginia Shields is a natural teacher. She taught everything from Kindergarten to Freshman English at the University of Georgia. She taught for some 42 years, and loved every day of it. Don't know why she made the decision to teach.

She insisted on teaching  me English. I bucked and squalled and pitched all kinds of running. barking fits, but I learned. Courage didn't have much to do with my learning, but experience taught me she wasn't gonna give up...so I gave in the the King's English...not that it's a skill needed in most of the places I have lived in my lifetime.

I guess that's what life is all about... courage to take on things with which you have no experience. That's how you obtain experiences...good and bad. It seems it happens to everybody, everyday, everywhere.

I don't know that I would have the courage to have a hip replacement at age 92. Must be courage, because I know she hasn't had any experience with major hip replacement. It'll take courage for the next 3 or 4 weeks to learn to walk again, and it will not be pleasant...She takes a 50 foot walk tomorrow, and more the next.  I KNOW my Mama well enough to know she'll tough it out!

There was no lack of information given her on this project. The thing that stuck in her mind was the Pre Op people kept referring to her "wound"...something about that she found singular. She preferred to call it an incision. They kept refering to the fact she would wake up in excruciating pain...on a Morphine drip? Experience taught her where the little black button is...THAT part didn't take long to figure out.

Seems that the older you get the more resigned you get to your aches and pains...you just live with them. There does come a day that things just start shutting down...that's what happened to her hip. This "miracle hip" offers her a new lease on staying bipedal...just like she has always been. Experience, courage, and a dash of  folk wisdom...Nothing ventured, Nothing gained.

All decisions are made on insufficient data, anyway. Seems like that in my life...and apples don't fall far from the tree. Still, I'll have to do some mental  processing to make a decision like that. Maybe I could call my friend Bob the Engineer to crunch some engineer numbers for me that would shed some empirical light on the decision. Many opinions make for a rich broth.

Anyway, Mama, you're a brave. singular minded soul...and you have no idea how many people love you for that...and all your other talents. The operating staff made a point of telling us that you kept them thoroughly entertained in the operating theater in the round...telling them this was the easiest thing she had ever done! The jury is still out on that one!

Oh, by the way, If you're planning a visit to the hospital...call first, she has a busy schedule, and she is 92. Just wait till she gets to Heritage...she'll be better company!

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