As a kid, if ever I thought about getting old (like “past 40”), I figured I would “age with grace.” My hair would turn snowy white, but otherwise, I’d remain the same. I would always be “me.” Maybe I’d slow down, but only a little. Age with grace and great hair. It didn’t work out quite as I had expected.

Two things worked out as planned. I’m still “me” and my hair is white. It looks pretty good and at least I have hair. As for the rest of me? I am a bit of a catastrophe. I’ve been falling apart since my teen years, so I wasn’t even 20 when I realized I wasn’t going to be that gracefully aging lady. The cool yet lively grannie would not be me.

Still, I’m feeling pretty good. Maybe the iron infusions worked? Because this is the first time I’ve had enough energy to want to go out and do something that isn’t a doctor appointment. It might not sound like a big deal to you, but to me it’s amazing. I’ve felt exhausted for such a long time I really didn’t think it would ever change.

We old people have a myriad of aches, pains, and complaints. Our problems are real, but we haven’t given up. Actually, I’m not what “giving up” would mean. If you give up, does death come to take you away? Is the dark one lingering at our elbows just waiting for us to say “come and get me”?

It reminds me of the movie “Little Big Man” when Graham Greene, who’d been planning his death, doesn’t die. He says to Dustin Hoffman: “Sometimes the magic works. Sometimes, it doesn’t.” I believe in the possibility of magic, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to count on it.

So here we are. We’ve got aches and pains. Collectively, we’ve got a huge collection of chronic ailments. We have glaucoma, lupus, Parkinson’s and heart conditions. There’s osteo and rheumatoid arthritis and emphysema. Name the disease and one or more of us have it. Some of us have cancer or have had it and may have it again. On top of that, we forget everything within half a minute. I have a short-term memory of about 15 seconds. To counter our complete memory failure, we write everything down. We used to believe we’d remember it later, but now, we know. For 100% sure, we will not remember it even in half an hour much less tomorrow or the day after.

On a positive note, we are alive. By percentage, more people I used to know are not. More family and friends are gone than walk the earth. Luckily, the “core” of my friend group is still with us and so far, none of us has had to move to a senior care facility. Which is good because frankly, I can’t afford anything but a state facility and that is most unappealing.

Be glad you are alive. Complain all you like. Getting old should give us the right to whine, snivel, and complain. That being said, never forget that we never know what’s coming, so enjoy life to the best of your ability. It’s the only life we are sure we’ve got.

My mother never got as old as I am now. Neither did my brother. I think of that often these days, the living and the dead and how, with all the issues I’ve got, I’m here. And somehow, managing to survive the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

Categories: #Health, #Photography, Anecdote, Death and Dying, Getting old, Humor, Life

Tags: , , , , ,

12 replies

  1. Hi there! Which of you has Parkinson’s and for how long? I have found it slows me down considerably. I am fortunate in not having the shaking problem, just other symptoms. Lots to learn. Diabetes has helped create another syndrome too oh well. Living is a bit more challenging but it beats the alternative, eh? Glad you are feeling better. Miss you and wish you and Garry well. Hugs, Blessings, Tasha


  2. I just turned 71 a few days ago. It’s an age I never thought I’d live to see. Your article today was another reminder of how we are all blessed to still be alive and (relatively) well. Thank you for writing it, and for all of your posts.


  3. Great to hear the iron seems to be doing its job! And your hair is lovely – I wish mine would go properly white instead of its ‘salt and pepper and a few other shades all mixed in’. Then I could stop dying it 🙂 Considering all the diseases etc you list, I reckon you and Garry are handling things pretty well!


    • Mine went white when I was really sick and in the hospital. No one was more surprised that I was. I went in with salt, pepper along the edges and dyed dark blond on the rest of it. I left — just about 4 weeks later snow white except where the dye lingered. I thought this only happened in the movies! I know one other woman to whom it happened. You can’t hide the white unless you go to the hairdresser twice a month which is terrible for your hair, not to mention your wallet. I finally went and had the remainder of the dye removed. Every time my hair grew an inch, I’d look like a skunk with white stripes on my head.

      I really LIKE the white hair. I was surprised. I thought it would make me look pale and sickly, but it doesn’t. If I bother to wear a little makeup, I look sort of … well … healthy. It’s remarkable what a little blush and a bit of eye makeup can do. I used to be really good with makeup, but my hands aren’t as steady as they used to be, so I’ve had to adapt.

      We really ARE doing alright, all things considered. We complain to each other and anyone (usually other people our age) who will listen. These days, that’s what a lot of friendship is about, although we do a lot of laughing while we do a lot of complaining. It’s one of the few things in this world that is still funny!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your a wonderful lady Marilyn! Feisty and lovable and I am so glad your alive and the iron infusions have seemed to work! Xx


    • I don’t know if the infusions worked or I believe they worked which might be good enough. I’m just glad to feel more lively. I’ve been in a slump for a LONG time — it feel like forever, but it’s less than a year. Time speeds up — except when you don’t feel well. Then it slows down. Doesn’t it figure!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well said Marilyn, getting old is a privilege denied to many.


Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: