Sunday, February 28, 2010
Joys of growing old
As I grow older I realize there are many joys to it. You remember so many things and they are as fresh in your memory as if they happened yesterday.
While lying on that hard table in radiation with the mask on my face pinning me down, I remember things like the way the violets looked and smelled each spring. I was raised in the country and all along the border of the front porch there were violets. Not fancy African violets, which I also love and have had great success raising in the past, but the old fashioned kind that were so pungent with their scent. And along the front and side fences there were jonquils and daffodils and in one corner of the yard there was a bush we called a burning bush as it was covered with small red flowers. And the honeysuckle along the fence. The first bouquet of the violets each spring was taken to my favorite teacher. We remained friends until her death a few years ago and each Christmas I would send her something with a violet on it in remembrance of a long ago friendship.
We all take photographs to remember but I find I don't really need a photograph to remember the look on my parents faces. Or the perfume my grandmother wore. I can still smell it now when I remember as strongly as when she was living years ago. And I can remember my father's laughter and my mother's sweet voice and southern drawl. And all my friends of childhood. I can see their faces and remember special times.
And Aubrey the first time we met and he smiled at me. He had a smile that would melt a rock and that went through his entire life with him and with me. The first thing I notice about a person is whether their mouth curves up or down and mostly I stay away from the people with the downward curve.
And cats. I always had cats. When I was a little girl I would take cardboard boxes and make castles for the kittens to play in. I like some dogs but I like all cats. I have one now and he is a very good companion for a woman growing older as he is quiet and gentle.
Another thing about growing older is that you seem to forget all the unpleasant things in your life and all the pain and remember the good times and the laughter. So I don't have to relive that part of my life, but just the good part and this is good. Long ago, I put aside anger and seldom seem to get upset about anything anymore.
I guess what I am saying is that I am trying to embrace my age with dignity and not be the wicked witch. I am not going to say I am not afraid to die. I am. I think everyone, to some degree is because we are always afraid of what we don't know or have never experienced.