Sunday, December 05, 2004

Pop's Feet

I know that's an odd topic; however, yesterday I did a lot of thinking about his feet. I have my mother's face and hands. I have my father's widow's peak and eyes - but I am coming to believe that I also have his feet.

I'll start with what I did yesterday: I walked - a lot. In the morning I cleaned; in the afternoon I did Christmas shopping; in the evening I decorated - tree and all.

In the end my feet hurt - a lot. Achey, old-lady achey.

That was when I remembered Pop complaining about his feet hurting. It got worse as he got older. If he sat with his legs dependent (hanging down) his feet would turn a lovely shade of blue. "Must have been all those 25 mile hikes in the army and standing behind the barberchair for all those years" would be his excuse - ignoring his years of smoking (up until the end when, dying in the VA hospital we wheeled him outside where he could bum a cigarette from "that old guy over there" - Pop was 80 then). And there were the years of drinking - to excess.

But in Pop's defense, those feet not only did twenty-five mile marches in the army, they also landed on Normandy, marched across Frnace and supported Pop while he supported his family. They had worked hard.

Maybe that's why I wasn't upset when the day came when I had to redress the ulcer on Pop's foot. He usually did it - up until the end. But whenever I would visit, I did it - just to check it and make sure it wzsn't getting any worse. It would just never get any better. His circulation was too poor for that.

I remembered that when, finally resting after a long day of Christmasing, I slipped off my shoes and noticed a small dark spot on my sock - dried blood. I had a small open area on the side of a toe - small, tiny, nothing to worry about. But right away, Nurse Mitzi checked the pulse on the top of her foot, then checked the capillary pooling of her toes (check of the circulation) and all was well. I must have nicked the toe on something - something I don't even remember doing. I washed the area, used Neopsorin ointment and put on a bandaid - all the time thinking of Pop's feet.

I've never smoked (aside from some cigarettes I had while dating my ex) and hardly drink (a bottle of vodka in my apartment lasted as long as my last relationship - 5 years). My circluation is much better than his ever was. But my feet still hurt.

I guess they're telling me to take better care of mine than Pop did of his.


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