Out of the sum total of our lives, there are a few things that are burned in our memories in varying degrees.
Your first date.
Your first kiss.
Your wedding, children, I could go on and on.
Unless you are like the Domestic Despot, my beloved Karen, and can remember everything in detail, but she performs this feat without knowing where her phone is, or her wallet, purse, you get the idea.
But she can tell me something that she remembers me saying twenty years ago, that contradicted something I said thirty years ago!
Talk about busting chops.
The latest thing that I feel joins the other burns on my memory is the standing ovation I received today at the Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center that I performed at today.
Now, I don’t brag about much, but if you have played solo gigs for as long as I have, and in as many bands as I have played in, you wind up getting a few standing ovations.
I opened with an old Ray Price tune Heartaches by the Number and played a full one-hour set for about twenty patients. I was pleased to see several that have been to one of my previous three shows I have played there, and I made some new friends as well.
There was one patient that was in a wheelchair and her condition was obviously debilitating, but she could wave her hand to the sound of the music. Through her pain and waning eyesight, I still managed to make eye contact with her; my gaze fixed and affirmed with a knowing smile.
She didn’t have to say a word; I was touched by her appreciation and had to pull it together before going on to finish my performance. When I finished, the frail little woman said something to her friends sitting on both sides of her.
As some of the patients returned to their rooms, her friends lowered their arms for her as support, and she pulled herself up and out of her chair.
She struggled mightily, and to the apparent shock of several in attendance, including several of the staff, stood upright, a little shaky, but she was up and on her own two feet for what had been quite some time.
Our eyes met once again, and she weakly clapped to me in the absolute loudest, eardrum-shattering standing one-person ovation I have ever received.
I admit it.
I cried, and am doing so as I type this.
I was really struggling with pain in my left leg, some very real and some “phantom” pain.
Call it what you want, phantom pain is real and hurts like hell.
I think I am finally having to go to the sleep doctor to stop my floppy stump syndrome. Cousin of the restless leg syndrome.
I deduced that if Karen tells me I am flopping around like a landed fish, the next day I will have pain when I walk.
Limping still beats sitting all to hell.