The hiatus from my blog, gave me a little time to observe the comings and goings of my fellow inmates at the retirement center. One or two had dropped from the scene, literally, having taken unexpected falls that required surgery or prolonged bed rest. I saved another from a similar fate by being in her path one day, and so I was able to block her fall. The woman refuses to use a cane and exudes confidence. I doubt she realizes that for one split second, I stood between her and a concrete floor.
I admire those who refuse to give in to old age. My mother is one of these. At a 101 she pretends she’s independent and requires no help to get in and out of the car. She waves me away with her hand to protest my attempts to assist her. Fortunately, I’m old enough and wise enough to ignore these protests.
One needs courage to get old. I don’t mean the courage to defy the ravages of time. I mean the courage to accept reality. Getting old isn’t shameful or the result of being careless. Getting old is being gene lucky and life lucky. To those who insist upon walking without a cane until they are left with stumps to stagger upon, I salute you. But there are those who make a different choice. They are the ones who lean on walkers as they grocery shop and return home safely with a bag containing pastry and a bottle of good wine.
One woman drives a red, electric scouter on her errands, her hair flying behind her as she cuts through the air. “Make way for the queen,” I think and smile.
To squeeze the most from life, a person must use any and all means. It’s a wise man’s game where having a handicap holds no dominion. For every time, there is a season—a time to run and a time to use a walker. What matters is the freedom to reach our destination.