What a strange (but true) saying. This warning has been stated in many ways and can be viewed from myriad vantage points.
One rendition, from the Elizabethan play, The Lamentable and True Tragedie of Arden of Feversham, 1592, states it in this manner :
“For curses are like arrowes shot upright, Which falling down light on the suters [shooter’s] head.”
In Robert Southey’s poem ,The Curse of Kehama, 1810, he writes:
“Curses are like young chicken: they always come home to roost.”
This saying fascinates me because I see it play out in people’s health . Their curses amount to the choices they make or fail to make to ensure their wellness.
On July 3, 2003, my father took his last breath as his final curse was fulfilled.
I was 8 years old when Daddy’s first “chicken” returned. This fearsome fowl brought with it a diagnosis of diabetes. He was in his early 40s and it was , oddly, a shock; although, this unwelcome guest should have been expected.
Daddy had been overweight since childhood and his love of food was legendary. The tastes, textures and social aspects all contributed to his
enjoyment of the experience of eating.
Health was not and had never been a priority. He was busy living life.
Besides food , Daddy’s other passion was his career as a morning show radio disc jockey. He had the most amazing personality and it came alive when he hit the airwaves. His nickname was the Mad Hatter. His show was Mad in the Morning Time. My step mother even honored his memory by giving him a morning funeral.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
In response to his diagnosis, Daddy lost quite a bit of weight; however, a lifetime of unseen, unfelt and undetected (by him) physiological processes were already underway.
Unfortunately, our chickens are hatched and raised in obscurity, unbeknownst to us.
The slow, methodical , time intensive process of developing insulin resistance does not produce blaring warnings to its unsuspecting victims. It is not an ominous black cloud announcing the arrival of an incoming thunderstorm . Disease processes are insidious.They are the ghosts that go bump in the night.
The second chicken that came home to roost, returned with a vengeance. With its eyes set on claiming his mobility, it took his right leg. The amputation was a welcome relief after his foot and leg began to necrotize . I remember staring at the pitch black skin and hearing the doctors say that it would fall off anyway.
The harsh realities of a life borrowed on credit
were setting in. We will always pay for what we do…and the cost may be more than we can afford.
Chicken number three carried, in its loathsome beak, a triple bypass surgery secondary to heart disease. This particularly deadly foe carefully constructed its nest by silently clogging his arteries using stress , poor food choices and a heart destroying blood pressure.
Daddy’s chickens were , actually, more akin to vultures… however, instead of waiting for death, they brought it with them, feasting on his body, as if it were carrion , left to rot in the sun on the side of the road.
His eyesight was next , followed by his kidneys. As his death neared, he was a shell of the father that I’d known. His body had been mercilessly picked apart.
During one of our last phone conversations, I remember him weakly asking me, why this was happening to him. With no knowledge of the nature of diabetes , I said, “Daddy, I don’t know.”
15 years later, I can answer that question . It was the lack of adequate sleep, unhealthy food choices, the food addiction, the unhealed emotional pain, a failure to deal with stressors, inadequate coping skills.
I can’t go back in time and answer Daddy’s questions. I can’t go back in time and save his life.
But what I can do (and what I will do) is go forward in my education of others, so that they don’t succumb to a preventable illness…so that they don’t subject themselves to the deterioration of their body as they lie, helplessly dying, waiting for their chickens to come home to roost .
Originally published at https://charbdollfitness.com.