It’s the Thursday before Easter. I visit my brother-in-law in Camrose. He’s in his late fifties but walks with a shuffle as if the wooden floor in his front room is pure ice. In one corner of the room is a container of more than half a dozen walking canes, all exotic, well-crafted and eye catching. I did not know this till recently but he’s embraced a school of thought whose philosophy is simple, somewhat tart but refreshing: if life gives you a lemon make lemonade.
He quickly deposits his money on the counter to pay for our meal at Wendy’s ahead of my debit card; there’s nothing evidently wrong with his hands. As we sit down he asks questions, updates me about his family relationships, and then regales me with tales about his Tuesdays adventures. He and a friend, whose first name I forget, do a night out on the town every Tuesday night, both stone cold sober. He assures me alcohol affects his walking style. Both he and his friend, who’s about the same age, use walking canes. He’s fallen more times than he admits.
He actually tells me about a recent fall. Just as he was stepping out of Tim Horton’s he tripped on the mat between the two doors. As he did so he tried to grab the door handle ahead of him but as he did so someone opened the outer door and he fell on his face. His three year old grandson saw all this which perhaps added to his embarrassment. Since then though, he tells me, his grandson keeps reminding him to hold his hand, apparently with some insistence. As he tells me this he virtually cracks up with laughter and shakes off the embarrassment. I marvel at the sensitivity on a three year old.
It’s interesting how simple, ordinary things can hold your attention..