Pride Cometh Before the Fall is the name of my new support group for elders, like me, who need to make the decision to use a cane. At age 84-plus, I was stubborn, independent and unwilling to surrender to the cane.

Yesterday, my granddaughter took me to the Ugly Duckling in Portland for breakfast. As she went to get the car, I decided to take a photo of the entrance. I stepped backwards and, for a split second, almost lost my balance. I didn’t fall. I did make the instant decision to start using a cane.

Now, the next challenge. I wanted a yellow cane. I am an active member of Finding Our Voices, a group dedicated to breaking the silence and stigma of domestic abuse, and we wear yellow as a sign of light and hope; I needed to be well coordinated as I traveled around Maine. I stopped on my way home at a medical supply store with my “serious” dilemma. They were welcoming and searched their resources, with no immediate solution, but took my name and will continue searching. This morning, I ordered a stand-in cane on Amazon. The color? Teal. It will match my eyes.

Mary Louise Liucci-Smith

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