Her mother is my age, but I understood what she was saying. By Ruby Lee
Photo by Kaspar Eglitis on Unsplash
Everyone has heard the old saying. You know the one that goes, “Age is nothing but a number.”
Well, tell that to my knees!
But I know what it is supposed to mean. You see plenty of seniors who are young at heart, and then you see the seniors who are just old and like being old.
My son invited a young couple to our house on the 4th of July so their children could swim in the pool and watch the neighborhood fireworks. As I sat talking to the young mother, I asked her about her parents. I was guessing that her parents were going to be about the age of my husband and me. I was right.
Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash
“My mother is old,” said the young woman.
“Watch it!” I replied with a smile.
“No, really,” the young woman said. “She just sits at home and acts old.”
Then she described her in-laws as being active even though they were in the same age bracket as her mother.
I told her that I, too, was the same age as her mother, and the young woman looked at me and told me that anyone who had blue hair couldn’t be old. It’s true; my hair has been blue for a couple of years now. I even bought my new car to match it.
Photo courtesy of the author.
I don’t feel old, but my body sometimes does. I still exercise and try to keep going. However, I’ve noticed that not everyone my age does that.
My husband and I have reached the age that our parents were when we first got married. Our parents couldn’t have been more different.
My mother was deceased, but my father had a long-time younger girlfriend. They traveled. They went dancing once a week. They were “out and about” frequently. Out and about was my father’s favorite saying. He loved people and loved socializing. He was like this until the day he went into the hospital for minor surgery and never came home. He was 82 years old.
My in-laws were old. They never went anywhere and never did anything. Their conversations were full of doctor’s appointments and health issues, although I never saw any actual health issues with my mother-in-law. My father-in-law had had polio as a child, and he had knee replacement surgery and heart issues. However, he never let these issues hold him back, and he acted younger than my mother-in-law even though he was ten years older.
He wouldn’t go anywhere without her, though, so he just sat home. I can’t imagine how dreadful his last years were.
Dad at the beach. Photo courtesy of the author.
I observed and learned from watching my parents and in-laws. After my mother died, my father told me that he reckoned that he had ten good years left and would like to live them. However, he actually had twenty good years left, and he did live them well.
My in-laws had the same about of time left in their lives as my father, but they did nothing and went nowhere. If we called about getting together, it would be too cold, too hot, or it might rain.
One of my mother-in-law’s favorite sayings was, “I was crying about that the other day.”
If you asked my father how he was, he would say, “If I was any better, I would dance at your wedding.”
If I asked my in-laws how they were doing, I was prepared to listen for a while.
Now that my husband and I are in our sixties, I know that we are slowing down. That’s ok as long as we don’t stop. My husband is still working, and I’m encouraging him not to retire yet. He still has a lot to offer. I’m retired, but I’m active. I swim every day, and we still have kids at home.
No matter what my age, I don’t want to be old. Yes, my hair is blue. I don’t know why, but I’m thinking of a change. Maybe pink? Purple. We’ll see.