Day 20

February 3, 2015
Knee Braces
Day 20: Knee Braces

Can you finish this sentence? “You know you’re getting old when…” If you’re younger than, let’s say, mid-30s, you’ll probably have a hard time completing that statement. But, if you’re getting close to or have already surpassed the forty year marker then tacking on a couple of paragraphs to the end of those dreaded six words would be a breeze.

We always talked about getting old. When we were in our twenties, we used to laugh about the days where we’d complain to one another about our joints hurting, getting gray and even walking with a slouch. Clearly we thought we were invincible and looking back on it all, I’d have to say we were a tad ignorant. Ain’t Karma grand?!

I’d like to describe the process in a more eloquent way, but the truth is the truth… getting old sucks. Heartburn appears out of nowhere and what’s messed up is discovering that foods we both have eaten our whole lives, without a single issue, are now triggering these bouts of displeasure. Gray hair is disconcerting and Ann will have no problem telling you gray is a very distinguishing color, as long as it’s not on her. Both our joints hurt and we both complain about it at least twice a week. Even a lack of sleep, which I should add was never a problem ten years ago for either of us, now seems to blanket us both in a fog of despair.

Ann was well into her thirty-seventh year when she was bringing laundry down from the upstairs. This day and this task were no different than the fifty-five thousand other times she carted down our girls laundry to the washer and dryer. For whatever reason, her knee popped and that was that.

I took her to the doctor and Ann was instructed to wear a brace. This was no ordinary brace and just looking at it scared the crap out of me. The contraption extended from her lower calf all the way up to the middle of her thigh. The doctor had said she blew out her knee, but I have yet to explain why half her leg had to be subjected to what could only be described as a modified torture device that somehow was transported into the future from some dark hole, smack-dab in the middle of the Spanish Inquisition.

I’m not really sure if it was the brace that frightened me or if it was the fact that Ann was hurt and there was nothing I could do to fix it. No one likes to stand helplessly on the sidelines as a loved one is suffering… at least no one I know. Ann was laid up for almost three weeks before she started, slowly, getting back on her feet.

Now, when the family has badminton competitions during the summer in our backyard, or even if Ann has to carry something, she is extremely cautious of her knee. She knows not to lift anything heavy and to have me do it, even though you can catch her being stubborn from time to time trying to take it all on herself.

So in honor of every ache and every pain, I present this knee brace. Every time I see a knee brace now, I can see her realizing that one day, all this too will end. I can see her  count her blessings for all that is in front of her right now while extending silent gratitude for all that’s yet to come and most importantly, I see her, just as unconditionally as I did when I first laid eyes on her… almost eighteen years ago.


Medium: Watercolors
Size: 6 x 4 (inches)
Materials: 90lb Cold Press Paper
Frame: Mini Wooden Shadow Box with Glass (4 5/8"W x 6 5/8"T x 1.25"D)
Completed: Saturday, October 18, 2014

Artist: Adam Kiger
Represented By: Park View Gallery
Artist's Website:


Who is Ann and what is 31 flavors of love?!