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Reflections July 2012

Agelessly Yours

Blessed by the Gift of Many Years?

By Karen White-Walker

Hasn't he noticed how I don't as yet look into the mirror and scream, although my once vibrant eyes, now sagging neck, laugh, frown and puppet lines wouldn't have Glamour magazine clamoring for me to be on its cover. Of course I could always have one of those “touch-up” jobs, but who wants to be on the cover of Popular Mechanics?

Do you ever feel like the man you first married isn't exactly like the man you first married? Okay, all right, so there's a logical reason for all that, but since when does love have anything to do with logic?

He once stood vertically with his head closer to heaven, his feet planted just above Hades. Now I mainly see him in his recliner at a 60-degree angle, eyes shut, limbs loose, and if not for his shallow breathing, I'd wonder if he were still alive.

Thank God he's still alive!

"Aren't you afraid that all your blood will go rushing to your head? " I sometimes curtly ask. "No wonder you look like you have a perpetual sunburn,"

"It's high blood pressure from living with you!" he'll retort.

"You know what's wrong with you?"

"You mean there's more that you haven't already told me over the countless years we've been together?"

"You just accept old age in your stride. Never once have I seen you look in the mirror and ask where's that strapping, handsome guy of yesteryear? And I've never seen you crying in your coffee over that mountain of morning pills you take."

"My favorite pill is the little blue one," he winks.

Like little kids we always seem to be in competition with one another, so I feel I must do him one better and counter with, "No, that's my favorite pill!"

Our little dance of bantering doesn't last long because I'll just slide back into my maudlin mood. "AND when you attempt to bend down to get something I'm surprised the sound of bones cracking doesn't trigger an earth tremor."

"What are we supposed to do, Karen? It's all part of life's natural cycle. Just think of those poor suckers who never made it as far as we did."

WE did?! What the heck did he mean by we? I tell you, the man's mind is going, gone, done, for doesn't he realize that he has almost 11 years on me? Hasn't he noticed how I don't as yet look into the mirror and scream, although my once vibrant eyes, now sagging neck, laugh, frown and puppet lines wouldn't have Glamour magazine clamoring for me to be on its cover. Of course I could always have one of those “touch-up” jobs, but who wants to be on the cover of Popular Mechanics?

I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I become so annoyed when I hear people say that 80 is the new 70, 70 the new 60 — right on down the line. What, a newborn baby is now a cooing embryo? Tell my tired legs when I take the stairs to save my heart that I'm really 10 years younger.

Lately I've been doing something that just might be associated with getting older. When I go to the store and they're ringing up my items, my eyes are glued to the screen to make sure they're punching in the correct amount. And if I mistakenly leave personal clothing apparel at one of my kids' homes, poor darlings, they get no peace until it's returned to me. When I was younger I'd never even noticed the prices of a box of bran flakes, a lousy package of prunes, but come to think of it, who needed that stuff back then? As for leaving a personal item of mine behind, hey, I would have only thought to myself ,"Relax girl, it's all in the family." Family, if only everybody could remember to be more patient and gentler with those older than themselves, and suddenly I can almost hear my husband's voice in my head. "Hey 'kid', why don't you take your own advice?"

 

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