Here’s a little something I wrote almost a year ago.
December 31, 2013
Today is the last day of 2013. As I sit here, I wonder where the year has gone. Maybe it is because I’m older or maybe it is because as I look at my mother she looks old. Maybe it is because I now have two precious grandchildren. Whatever the reason, it is gone.
Today, my mother and I were looking at old family pictures and had a discussion about how old my grandmother was when she died. She was ninety something, either 93 or 94, we think. We were going to look it up but got side-tracked because my mother said “I don’t want to live to be 100.” She will be 89 in January. I have never given much thought to her age until this past year.
Last winter she got really sick with a kidney infection and lost a lot of weight. When I saw her in May, I thought she looked very thin but she looked healthy. She mowed her lawn and trimmed her hedges all last summer. (There is a story to go along with that statement which I’ll tell on another day.) She seemed to be doing quite well when I saw her at the end of October, but shortly after I saw her she got another very bad kidney infection. She was sick for at least four weeks and is now on the road to recovery however, she lost 15 more pounds that she certainly did not need to be losing. When we arrived at her house December 19, I saw a very frail, old woman that did not look quite as healthy as the last time I saw her. This was the day I decided my mother was old.
I’ve never really been too caught up with the age of people. Half the time I forget how old I am – I did this even in my 20’s and 30’s so it isn’t because I’m older! I’ve always been one to think that attitude has a lot to do with how people perceive your age. Choose an age and just stick with it has been my mantra for years. So, how do we determine if something or someone is old?
In the antique world, when something is 25 years old, it is considered to be an antique. That always seemed a bit “young” to me. When I think of someone being old, I think of someone who is hunched over, walks slowly with a cane, is all wrinkly, has a shaky voice, and can’t hear or drive and in my mind, they typically have gray hair as well! Of course, this makes me think of the little old ladies that went to my church growing up. They all sat together in a row with different shades of blue to purplish hair from the tonic they used to “keep their hair white.” Looking back, most of them were probably in their mid-60’s to early 70’s which really doesn’t seem that old to me. It never really did.
As we were looking through things in the house, we came across a car phone that my mother used when she was on the road. It made us both laugh out loud. It was in a black zippered case. When it was opened, on the left side was a hand held receiver with a curly cord that attached to a dial. On the right side was the battery pack that plugged into the car’s cigarette lighter. It cannot even be used with today’s technology. It is only about 20 or so years old, yet, it is considered outdated and therefore an antique so in this case, old.
I suppose the term “old” is relative. I hope that I’m not considered to be old until I reach the age of 89 like my mother. Guess I better get busy and do more walking and yard work. I think that might be what has kept her young!