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7 Degrees of Separation

We are all intertwined and interdependent on each other. The smile that we show a stranger (even through our masks) can be all that person needed, at that moment. You may have given them the ability to move on a with a little bit of pep in their step and a little sparkle in their attitude. Paying someone a compliment can go such a long way towards healing an old wound. When I look at the map of hippies that have read this blog and have reached out to me, you are the reason that I continue sharing my writing. I have tossed and turned about this and wondered if it continues to be worth it to put myself out there - to share my emotions and my thoughts. But I have realized that this writing is therapeutic for me probably more than for you. It is my way of creating a sense of mortality. Life is not all about our hips even though it can sometimes feel like that. At the end of the day, life is about how you treated others and what type of legacy you left for someone else. It is about the footprints that you left on someone’s heart.

Of course, I will continue telling stories of my “ah ha’ moments which may or may not be related to hips. I will continue sharing resources that I come across or are shared with me. I will also continue talking about people’s amazing stories of success and hope and gratitude related to hips or not. I may even share some of my plant-based lifestyle recipes with you and encourage you to find (and share) your fight songs with me. This blog will be a fluid work of art and I’m open to suggestions and guest bloggers!

So, my 7 degrees of separation story brought tears to my eyes and a message that my dad, Robert, who passed away 14 years ago, had an impact on someone. And this message was delivered to me all because of my hips! About 6 weeks ago or so, I had opted to change Physical Therapists due to the gentle nudging of my hip healing surgeon (also named Robert). My new PT seems to really have a grasp on the current glitches in my non-operative hip which gives me a sense of relief. During my last visit, we got to talking about weekend plans and I told her that I was going to my hometown as my mom was hospitalized. She had a quizzical response. I responded, “Do you know where my hometown is?” She said, “Yes! I grew up there.” We went to the same high school and share the same embarrassment of our high school mascot’s name (Haybaler).

She also attended junior high where my dad taught. I asked if she knew him. She said with excitement, “He was my Cooking teacher!” My dad taught many subjects through his career from Social Studies to Spanish, but cooking was his favorite class as he neared retirement. She shared that he taught her all about the proper ways to cut and dice and to choose the proper knife for each task. She also remembered, from 20 or more years earlier, that his favorite cookies to make were peanut butter blossoms.

So think about this. I choose a hip doctor who encourages me to see a PT specialist who I see. And she has a connection to my father from over twenty years earlier in a town three hours away from where we currently are both located. The message that I got from this story was that my dad’s impact was still being felt and remembered. Through the pages of this blog, through my career and through the type of person I am, I hope that my impact will remain just as my dad’s has. It is not all about hips. It is about the strength of those footprints you leave. Of course, your footprints will be more recognizable if you have strong hips, but it is better to have a strong heart of compassion, gratitude, kindness, grace towards others and humility.

Let your hips heal you into a person who can leave that footprint. Let your hips heal so that you don’t only identify yourself as a “hip patient” but as a person with heart who has dreams and aspirations apart from your hips!

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