Health and Happiness


I am pretty sure that, if you will be quite honest, you will admit that a good rousing sneeze, one that tears open your collar and throws your hair into your eyes, is really one of life’s sensational pleasures.
~ Robert Benchley, “Hiccoughing Makes Us Fat,” No Poems: or around the world backwards and sideways, 1932

Once you admit you are sick –no matter what the cause– the door opens to everyone’s favorite remedies for what ails you. While nursing through my recent illness, a friend sent along a link to “A Spoonful of Sugar” from Mary Poppins. The pharmacist offered much-appreciated suggestions for less-expensive alternatives to the over-the-counter item the doctor prescribed. In my head, I could hear my mother’s voice saying “Chicken soup — with cracker dumplings!”

Perhaps one of my favorite excursions into old magazines are the advertisements for medicines and healing techniques. Dr. Rose, in the photo above, practiced herbal medicine and had no love for the medical professionals of his day. The “Not My Patient” sign came out every time a funeral procession passed his business.

What we know of Dr. Rose is rather slim. He arrived in Dayton around 1857, and he died there on May 26, 1894, at the age of 86. Widowed for the last eight years of his life, and blind the last six months, Dr. Rose was considered a recluse and an eccentric. It was said his medical advice built on that of Ben Franklin: “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” However, he often prescribed his own concoction sold as “Strong Wine of Life”. At the time of his death, the newspaper headline touted, “Could Not Cure Himself.”

I wonder sometimes, especially as I choke down several antibiotics, carrefully followed two hours later by probiotics to counter them, about what constitutes health and happiness. Is healthy the end point or the beginning? Can you have one without the other? Big questions, brought on I’m sure in part by my latest reading trend of end of life stories and stories about endings.

What do you think ~ what makes you healthy and happy?

[This post is #8 of 26 of the April A-to-Z Challenge. Please click on the button on the right side of the page for more information about the challenge or to locate others participating — there are more than 1600!]

Previous A-to-Z posts:
2012: Homage to my Hips
2011: Helpful Tips for Capturing Family Stories


1 Comment

Filed under April A-to-Z Challenge

One response to “Health and Happiness

  1. I know kids who have had more antibiotics in the first 3-5 years of their lives than I have had in 40. One thing that always crosses my mind about health and happiness, beginnings and endings and end of life stories is a quote I heard in Nursing training. “You die as you lived” -unknown

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