Seniority

I’m still experimenting, wondering what to post on my blog.  I think I will be writing for older people sometimes, not only because I’m older but because there’s not much published for them.  A major magazine that’s out for grandparents means just that.  Their articles feature sharp young couples in their sixties with their golf clubs or their toddler grandchildren.  Those people are not old.  I’m talking about great grandparents.  Now they’re getting close to old.  But they still think and feel and read and reason.

I think maybe some of the stuff I’ve accumulated in my files was  written for them . . or their kids.  If you know someone who might enjoy my blog I hope you will give them the address.  If you know people who might enjoy my blog but they don’t use a computer, perhaps you can print out something you liked and share it with them.  Sometimes it’s hard to think of some little thing to take to or to mail to a grandparent or an old friend.  Maybe you’ll find something here, eventually.

Today, from my files, I’m sharing something I wrote recently.  Don’t worry if I talk too honestly about age.  As we age we become, I believe, not only innocently honest but perhaps immune to fear.

 

Ye Old People 

So many things are left unsaid when the subject of aging comes up.  Whether we are the old one or the relative of the suddenly old one, we don’t like to think or talk about the problems or the changes we notice.

Like the old one forgets names and where he puts things.  Of course.  Like the old one has a runny nose. Typical.  Like the old one often hurries to the bathroom, and lucky sometimes if he makes it.  Yes.  Like the old one wakes up in the middle of the night and falls asleep in the middle of the day.  Who among us doesn’t?

Have you noticed a common thread?  Those of you who are parents, or even brothers and sisters, must realize . . . this is the way of newborns.  They have runny noses, they have innocent bladders, they sleep when sleep comes upon them.

So now you have a closer understanding of our comings and goings.

I would consider it a privilege to release life slowly, going out gently as I came in, glad to not be one of those who left suddenly and often unprepared, although this may have been right for them.  I have time to regroup, to gather and sort out old pictures, remembering, but then leaving them for the children . . or the wastebasket.  (Who wants a picture of a mountain I saw once in Montana?)

As it is, I have time to enjoy the grandchildren and the great grandchildren without the slightest bit of responsibility.  I can see their challenges, their talents, their possibilities, and just hope it leads to a wonderful life.  I won’t be here to see it.  But then my great grandparents weren’t here to see my entire life unfold either, and I’d like to think I’d have made them proud.  It really helps to have good people to look up to, to follow, and I did.

I sometimes set the timer to remind me when to go . . not when I  must but when I can.  I keep an appointment calendar and also notes on the refrigerator to remind me where to be and when.  I call old friends to check on them, and I keep in close touch with all my family.  I walk carefully about the house and use the hand rails by the steps and in the bathroom.  I wear a pendant to enable me to call for help if I should  fall or feel sick.

Not that I’m ill or crippled or frail.  No, not at all.  I do these things to please the kids.

Just as those very adult children, when they were tots, pulled themselves up in the crib, took their first steps with help, and hung on to the railings while they conquered the steps.

Of course.  They did it to please their parents.

– Doris Markland

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