Posted in Friendship

I Fall Down A lot by Ginger Keller Gannaway


At 61, I am out-of-shape and off-balance (both physically and mentally).
It makes perfect sense that I’m prone to falls. In the last year or so, I’ve had 3 falls. Each time I felt like it was a slo-mo fall. In those 3 or 4 seconds I told myself, “Get a grip and straighten up! You don’t have to fall.” Of course, I fell faster than I could utter the previous words.

millie bisquit
Two of the falls happened as I was walking my 60 pound dog, Millie. Millie did not yank me down outright, but on both occasions she tugged at her leash enough to throw me off balance. Both times I was not properly monitoring Millie’s unpredictable behavior. For Millie, another dog seven blocks away seems like special canine crack.. Her ears wiggle, her head faces the distraction and her eyes look for what her nose smells. At such times, I wrap her leash tighter in my hand and I search for what has excited her senses. When I discover the approaching dog, I say, “Leave it, Millie” and I follow with “Good girl!” if she fights her urge to bark like a fire alarm and try to run toward the other animal. However, before Fall #1 I was chatting with my brother as we walked and I fell in the damp grass when Millie made an extra-quick turn around. And for Fall #2 I thought Millie and I had safely walked past a strange dog with no barking, and then she split up my “Good” and “Girl” with a sudden halt to smell a branch near a gutter. And both of my knees slapped the pavement in a flash. For both falls I inwardly cursed Millie even though I knew my crappy balance and old lady reflexes were to blame.
Lately, I feel like my skin, my bones, and my internal organs are conspiring to murder me. They are sick and tired of my clumsy stumbles and my spastic trips & falls. “Just die already” they mutter to each other. “All you do is bumble, fumble, and tumble your way thru a day.”
Although my two aforementioned falls were superficial and handled with a few 4X4 band-aids and some Neosporin, my 3rd fall was a bit messier. It happened in the summer when I was in my hometown with my siblings and a very loyal friend cleaning out my grandma’s attic.
Our first mistake was deciding to clean out an attic in a 152 year old house in south Louisiana in August! We would get up early to face the attic’s heat and dirt and chaos, and then get the hell out of Dante’s Inferno before noon. Then we’d walk to Ruby’s for our plate lunch reward. cracked sidewalkThat Monday as we were walking back to our attic work, I tripped on an uneven piece of sidewalk and made an ungraceful dive into the concrete. The fall included an elbow scrape and a quick head-bounce as a finale. I did not pop up after this fall. I thought I heard muffled snickers, so I pitifully said, “I’m really hurt here.” Loyal Mark immediately tried to help me up, but I told him to hold up as I needed to carefully figure out how I was gonna pull my overweight, off-center self up from the ground.
I managed an unladylike, slow, painful rise from the broken sidewalk as I brushed twigs, grass, and leaves from my palms, forearm, and knees. I straightened my cockeyed glasses and discovered the plastic frame was cracked to the left of the nose bridge. Now I was humiliated, scraped-up, and potentially blind.
“Falling” sounds so much like “failing” and I feel like a falling failure a lot lately.

My mirror states the obvious- “You old…Bitch!” Yet my mind and my heart argue with the obvious truth of my aging. I still understand a novel’s subtle themes or a movie’s complex visual metaphors. My insides still flutter when I hear a powerful song, and I still yearn to enjoy cool going-ons around town. However, when I do go out, the risk of embarrassment has gone way up. My physically crooked, lazy, off-balance, inflexible, unsightly self will most likely show itself to be the 61-year-old specimen it is.
I will continue to fall down a lot. And that’s just a chance I gotta take.



I grew up as a crooked girl who dealt with a mild case of cerebral palsy. In a small Cajun town during the 1960s, I relied on my little sisters' support and energy to give me confidence and our grandma's movie theater to help me escape when life's "pas bon" moments overwhelmed me.

8 thoughts on “I Fall Down A lot by Ginger Keller Gannaway

  1. First of all, you’re not old. Secondly, you had three good reasons to fall. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Do some simple yoga balancing in the morning. That will set the tone for your body and mind.
    I see you as a brilliantly beautiful, 61 year young woman, with a heart as big as Texas, to boot!
    So, next time you take a gravity pull to the dirt, pull yourself up, brush yourself off and have a good belly roll laugh!
    Love you Ginger 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the advice and encouragement! I do always get up and keep on going. And I actually like laughing at myself. Life ain’t nothing if it’s not a sidewalk full of wisecracks and uneven jokes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can give you the name of TWO excellent plastic surgeons who have sewn my face back up after my face falls. I still have residual pain in my teeth from said falls (come to think of it my neighbor is a dentist and declared my teeth still intact after the worse fall). I can give you his name too. I live in constant fear of falling.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Please remember that writing is therapy for me, and I mayyyyyy exaggerate some. I am so fine; I do NOT feel bad about myself because I fall. I was going for humor more than “oh poor me.” I appreciate your supportive concern.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My dear friend…I resemble those comments! I have discovered one thing about falling…we bounce! Keep writing my friend…you put smiles on so many faces! Love, Karen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, thank you, Karen. I agree with you that we “bounce” a bit after our falls, but our bounces make dents & nicks that don’t go away. (Ha!) I truly appreciate you reading my silly musings.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aunt Faye, please don’t worry about me. I was writing more from frustration than from really getting hurt. Daddy so loved seeing you & Uncle Jackie. He misses family and friends in south Louisiana so much. I hope to head ya’ll’s way in December.

      Liked by 1 person

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