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Humor November 2017

Agelessly Yours

Are My Stocking Seams Straight?

By Karen White-Walker

What did we ever concern or complain about before in our younger years? All we had to worry about back then was to find the ideal mate (which we did) raised well-adjusted, give-back-to-society kids (which they are) and be nothing to those who crossed and are crossing our paths in life but a joy and inspiration to them (which we are).

Do you ever wonder what in the Sam heck we ever worried about when we were much younger, just a few years ago? Oh, it wasn't just a few, you say? Over 50? You're crazy! I mean, how did we get this old, this fast?

But we're the lucky ones, aren't we? We're still alive, coping with the aggravations of old age, and so like I said, what did we ever concern or complain about before in our younger years? All we had to worry about back then was to find the ideal mate (which we did) raised well-adjusted, give-back-to-society kids (which they are) and be nothing to those who crossed and are crossing our paths in life but a joy and inspiration to them (which we are).

They say time distorts our perceptions of what really was and wasn't and sometimes makes things appear much better than they really were – I'll take it! But for some, it makes the past appear bleaker than it was. But right or wrong, either or, we all must move on and keep going! How can I say that with such truth and conviction? Well, you could, too, if you had a daughter who was a caregiver to seven nonagenarians.

"Ma, they all make me laugh," she insists.

"Remember that, dear, if I reach 90 years old – and up."

Was that a fear-stricken look on her face, or was it just my over-zealous imagination encased in a sluggish, tired mind? "Listen, my gentle guardian of geriatrics, but yet not for me, I may have a few undesirable traits, but I'm determined to not be impossible in the coming years."

"And President Trump promised to build a wall and not use taxpayers' money," she mumbled under her breath.

All seven nonagenarians adore her. I barely like her when she whispers and pretends that she doesn't want me to hear, knowing that I'll knock myself out trying to catch every syllable.

Oh, what infinite patience she has with them, taking them shopping and allowing them to count out the exact change for their purchases, as she watches the seasons change from a nearby window.

Just as a parent shouldn't favor a certain child, a teacher a certain pupil, personalities can't sometimes help but blend well with those select few. And so my daughter can't help but favor 93-year-old Yolanda. The highlight of this real party girl's world is entertaining in her home once a week. True, my daughter helps her set the table, and her 70-year-old plus children bring in the homemade grub and wine, and are the clean-up committee, yet, it's commendable that Yolanda is all excited and joyful to open her home to all the mess and commotion.

"Ma, she acts like she's welcoming in Adele and Ryan Gosling.”

"Who?"

"How about Elvis and Clark Gable?"

"Now you're talkin', sweetheart."

"But before she swings open that door, she turns to me and asks, "Honey, tell me, are my stocking seams straight?' Ma, she's so with it, but do they even make them anymore?"

"In her mind they do, and she could be equating that with happier and more carefree years. It's harmless to go along with that, dear, and I'm glad that you do. The fact that she's able to live alone means she's doing better than most of those in her generation."

All her clients are doing well, some who are almost pre-garter belts and seamed stockings. "What is your secret?" my daughter has asked them – and all, not some, but ALL have emphatically said, "Keep going. Even if you feel you can't pick up your big toe, keep moving!"

Maybe there's a little self-centered streak in me, or I want to be given more kudos than I deserve, but all of them don't realize that I'm contributing to their longevity and they haven't even met me! "Please pray for all of them, Mom – Yolanda, Jack, Richard, Diane, Grace and Vera, to stay healthy and alive."

I tell ya, by the time I say my evening prayers, mentioning everybody by name, my loved ones, and practically strangers, I'm sleep deprived and so anxious that if I skipped just one name, they're on their own – and how scary is that? About as frightening as not being able to keep going and keep moving because I'm too busy being on my knees praying.

And who says my daughter still thinks I might be a burden to her? Not I!

 

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