Having determined that age is just a number, I think my number ranges from sixteen to ninety. On good days when I listen to the songs popular in my youth, I mentally revert to a teenager. On the other hand, a weather change can make me feel like I have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel (as my dad used to say). Ninety might seem like a stretch to the younger side.
We were singing at a nursing home and a man walked up to my sister-in-law and tried to get her to bet him $5 that he couldn’t guess her age. She said that she didn’t have any money on her, but he assured her that he could guess her age. He finally said, “You are between forty and ninety.” His observation made us laugh. I not only can’t guess anyone’s age, I’d hate to guess someone as older than they are.
I have a cousin who was brain injured at birth and although she is older than I am, she looks like a young person. Laney is always smiling and happy to see her family. When we play music, she is always waiting for us. She smiles and claps her hands when we come in. She expresses her joy in the simple moments of life and finds pleasure in simple gifts. Laney likes purses, jewelry, and fixing her dolls’ hair. She hasn’t worried herself into wrinkles. She celebrated her birthday this month, and she is proof that age is just a number.
Jim’s dementia made him seem younger at first. He became more childlike and dependent on me. I remember a cold winter night when our water froze at the well. Jim ignored my distress and continued calmly watching “Walker Texas Ranger” on TV. I called my son and my brother-in-law and told them our troubles. I put on my insulated coveralls, my boots, stocking cap, heavy gloves and stepped out into the night. By the time, I was bundled up for the cold, Eric and Billy were working on warming the well house.
I told Eric that Jim didn’t seemed the least bit concerned about not having any water. Eric laughed and said, “I bet he would have been upset if the electricity went off and he couldn’t watch TV.” When you remove the worried look from someone’s face, they do appear younger.
My almost 97-year-old mother is the most age defying person I know. She always looks youthful and put together. When I call her and ask how she is, she will say, “Well, I woke up today so it will be a good day.”
I was relating this story to my former classmates at our last luncheon. After we chuckled, one of them said, “Yeah, until you don’t wake up.”
“Well,” I said, “I can’t think of a better way to go than to just not wake up one morning.”
Most of us wear our life experiences on our faces and our bodies. Still, I think the most wrinkled shriveled up person looks better than the person with bad plastic surgery. Nothing looks worse than skin stretched so tight that it’s shiny and lips that look like a toilet plunger. And why, oh, why would anyone want their butt to look bigger?
So, most of us look better with the faces and bodies that life gave us. Except Dolly. Dolly looks awesome.
Copyright © Nov 2023 by L.S. Fisher