A plastic cup with the words, “early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” written in bold black letters was my constant companion when I grew up. By the way, that quote was made famous by Benjamin Franklin, yet to be historically accurate, it came from the Greek philosopher Aristotle. I drank my morning milk from that cup, awful stuff in those days, dry skim milk powder mixed with water. Lucky days were when I could mix in some milk chocolate to at least make it so I didn’t have to hold my nose to drink it.
I read those words every day and naively believed they were written just for me and often thought that I had to be healthy first in order for the other two, wealthy and wise, to work. So, the word “healthy” really stuck. Still does. And, as I’ve grown older, even more so. For without my good health, how can I enjoy all the things I want to do like snowshoeing on a beautiful winter morning or planting bulbs in the spring or going for a long hike on a warm summer day?
When I’m sick, which doesn’t happen that often, I don’t feel like doing much. Usually, food doesn’t taste too good and I tend to get grumpy. Okay, sometimes more than just grumpy. The mantra, “I can’t wait to feel myself again,” rolls around and around in my head.
Usually after a few days, when I feel better, I’ll once again take my good health for granted, until the next time I get sick or… worse… when a loved one gets ill enough to be hospitalized. Which happened recently. It threw me for a loop and for whatever reason it got me thinking about that plastic cup I drank from decades ago and wishing I could just give that cup to my loved one. He’d read the words, then go to bed early, and wake up young and full of all the get-up-and-go he’d ever need. He wouldn’t even need to drink milk. Health is wealth.
“A life without health is like a river without water.” M. Lagace´
How did you find solace this week?
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