As the days creep on, my mind, which does not have a good rewind button, remembers moments when my back felt like it does at the moment. The rocky journey started in the 1960’s when my mother would tell my sister and I stand up straight. I remember sitting and walking with a book on my head to keep my back straight. Mom was trying in her own way to prevent us from developing rounded shoulder like her Mom. My grandmother may have been in pain especially in the years leading up to her death. We didn’t know her well then, but we remembered her as an active woman who played the organ, sewed her own clothes, and worked alongside my grandfather as he cared for pigs and sheep on their Indiana farm.
I listened to my mother and tried unsuccessfully to keep my back straight over the fifty years since I left her care. In my mind I frequently remembered her words of caution and would stand up straight, suck my stomach in, and try to look like I was puffing my chest out. The perhaps that was the chink in my armor. My mom was thinner than I was and try as I might my little 16-year-old brain knew it was impossible.
Fast forward to 1/1/2019, I was determined to accomplish the impossible. I set my new year’s resolution to eliminate my rounded shoulders. A month previously when I bent over and picked up a six pack of water bottles, my back made a loud cracking noise that was not normal. Two days before my husband of 50 years slipped on ice clearing the driveway so a truck could deliver the laminate floor boards to replace thirty-year-old carpeting in our house.