My red pillow. For the past four months, I haven’t left home without it.
It has become an important part of my car, as necessary as a wheel.
It helps comfort my back, especially during those three-hour round trips to my Tuesday golf outings in North Myrtle Beach.
It’s with me during those same 18 holes of golf, keeping me painless while riding the fairways and, afterward, while sitting in the clubhouse sipping a water.
I haven’t visited a restaurant without it, but I often have to return to the car to get it. Senior moments, you know.
Fellow churchgoers at St. James Episcopal in McClellanville have become accustomed to my red pillow.
I even brought it to the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass – and was glad I had it because those stadium seats on No. 17 have no cushions.
And when I attended a recent Myrtle Beach Pelicans game, my red pillow went with me.
It has become such a staple in my life that someone in my golfing group, the Grand Strand Swingers, started calling me Linus, after the “Peanuts” character who carries an ever-present security blanket.
I liked the comparison. I have been a Linus for the past four months.
One of my doctors told me my healing process was a marathon, not a sprint, and he was right.
But I’ve decided recently that it is time to step up the pace in this marathon and make a clean break with my red pillow.
I can’t depend on this crutch forever. A lot of people have back problems but go on with daily life without a security pillow.
In fact, I recently read that 95 percent of the world’s population suffers some kind of chronic pain – and in America, more of us suffer back pain than anything else.
So goodbye red pillow.
The Fourth of July is a good day to begin acting like any other American with chronic back pain and sit normally in restaurants and churches and baseball games and golf outings.
OK, in the interest of full disclosure, I will be keeping it in the car. Those three-hour round trips are still a killer.
Contact BOB BESTLER at firstname.lastname@example.org.