Worth the Battle

Life after the Fall

By Marylyn Cork

As I write this I’m looking forward to the New Year that’s looming although with some trepidation. The old year had its moments and I’ve been blessed and very lucky but there were plenty of times that took the bloom off the clover in 2022 and made me wonder if life was worth the struggle. I’m not complaining, just explaining.

For instance, falls, the bane of all old ladies, complicated my days—but only a little. I cracked a rib in a dizzy fit while getting out of bed in late summer and then a few weeks afterward I fainted, for no discernible reason. I was at the top of my stairs and fell all the way down them and cracked my head open, which bled profusely.

I thought about death as I lay on the floor and wasn’t scared but decided I didn’t want my kids to find me lying there in a pool of blood. I crawled into my office to a phone and called my eldest daughter. Shortly, an ambulance was hauling me off to the nearest hospital. My scalp was stapled back together, and tests revealed no brain damage, just another cracked rib and one in my spine. They would heal on their own, the doctors said. Thanks to good insurance, I guess I won’t lose the farm paying the bills.

The incident has unleashed a lot of discussion among my children, however, about moving my computer upstairs. So far, it’s not been done, and the less said about it the better. Maybe it will happen, eventually. I just take great care now in going down the stairs. Fortunately, I’m allowed to do that again.

I also spent most of the summer with my car in a shop because the insurance company was slow (I think, but they dispute it) coming up with the money for repairs. I blame COVID-19 partly, which still has the world very fouled up. My kids don’t yet let me drive again but I never enjoyed it anyway. If they or my sister Rachel take me where I want to go, I don’t care much.

Of course I’m not happy about inflation or the war in Ukraine or climate change, among other things, but I can’t do much about any of them. As an aside, though, I’ve just finished reading a book about emperors through thousands of years of history, and I can tell you Putin doesn’t break the mold.

In 2022, I lost a sister ten years my junior, as well as a much-loved cousin, and through his death I lost touch with another friend whom I don’t expect to see again. I don’t have many friends left. They’ve all passed on.

What I thought was going to be the hardest blow stands in abeyance for the time being. My youngest child had breast cancer a few years ago, so when she was hospitalized last week with internal bleeding and the doctors said a mass in her stomach was most likely malignant, we all thought it was a recurrence of her breast cancer. But bone and brain scans show there’s been no recurrence. That’s all we know at this point but she’s out of the hospital and feeling good now.

Yet how can I feel really confident? To make matters worse, she’s helping her son raise two little boys who are not even old enough for school.

I know there are many other people to whom life appears a cruel struggle. It takes courage to get through it but for most of us in North America, it’s worth the battle. I’m not so sure about life in much of the rest of the world. Despite everything, though, I’m optimistic. My life has just about run its race, and so with this column I think it’s time to say goodbye to all my readers and friends at IDAHO magazine. Writing for you has been a pleasure and a challenge. Thank you for putting up with me, and Happy New Year.

Editor’s Note: Marylyn is leaving the magazine to work on a book. We wish her the best with that project and are grateful for her engaging and perceptive columns over the years.

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Marylyn Cork

About Marylyn Cork

Marylyn Cork has lived in Priest River more than fifty years and in Bonner County more than sixty years. Writing since she was nine years old, she retired as editor of the Priest River Times in 2001. She enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, camping, and traveling.

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