While driving just now I noticed an elderly couple by the side of the road. The man was trying to step up onto the sidewalk from the road. It was just a height of about 4 to 5 inches but it was painfully obvious that he was struggling. His foot kept abutting hopelessly against the side, failing to reach sufficient height to plant itself on the pavement. He would have toppled over if not for his wife who was holding his arm and an umbrella to shed him from the sun while he tried again and again.
When our bodies are able, we take things like stepping onto the sidewalk for granted. For this man the mere few inches may as well have been the tallest mountain in the world. I remember when I was laid up in bed after screwing up my back. The act of getting up from a lying posture was sheer torture. My chronic backache has now become a part of my life, so much so that I am now unable to bend down to reach for that lower drawer or to pick things up from the ground. I have to squat to get at things below waist height. I shudder to think what I would be like when I reach the age of the elderly man I saw today.