Don’t you hate that word ELDERLY? Every time I see or hear it, I bristle with irritation. Yet, I’m the first to admit that I’m over 70 now. I know I’m not middle AGED any more. I like the term Senior Citizen better. Although, when I was 50 years old, and Sizzler restaurants started a new Senior menu for those over 50, I thought then that age was just too young. I remember my mom being upset because 65 was the official age for Senior Citizens. At age 55, she was NOT a senior citizen although her spouse was. She lived to be 89. Age is relative, just a number in your mind or an attitude .
Looking back as an OLDSTER on your life as past decades can be enlightening. My first decade was childhood, second-school years, third-college, marriage and career, fourth-child rearing, fifth-raising teenagers, sixth-empty nest and retirement, seventh-grand parenting and…the future is unknown at this point. Each stage had its challenges and gifts. I would say I’ve been happier in my elderly years than I was in younger days not knowing what the future would hold. In some cultures, the elderly are revered, respected and listened to as wise sages. Experience does bring wisdom, but not always the opportunity to share it.
Here’s my feelings about old age written while at the doctor’s office. I’m sure you can relate:
DEATH BY OLD AGE
I’m sitting in the doctor’s office
among all the other blank stares.
What am I doing here? I ask myself.
Falling apart like all the other folks?
It’s not called old age for fun and kicks,
a time of slowly down and forgetting
where I need to rush to next or what
it was that even brought me here.
Finally the doctor will see me.
He looks like a twenty something
with no life’s experience, yet I’m trusting
him with my precious few years left.
He can’t figure out what to prescribe
to bring back my youthful energy.
Even I who watch faithfully those TV ads
can’t remember which pill to request.
He says...Exercise and diet, come back
in two months, and we’ll talk again.
Charges me eighty bucks which my Medicare
may pay. I go home poorer, and closer to death.
NEXT TIME: Surviving Death