In case I forget…

crayonsOld age is sometimes referred to as a “Second Childhood.” Perhaps the thought is that we become carefree again as we conveniently forget our responsibilities. Unfortunately, it may also mean that once again, we are dependent on others for our care. Some of us will be forced to relinquish control of such simple tasks as dressing, eating, or going to the toilet. I think that’s what troubles me most as I age–that loss of control.

Of course, we can look to our parents and grandparents for examples of the paths our aging may take. My two grandmothers lived well into their 90s, although they’d lost most of their marbles by that time. My mom died at 79 of what I consider to be a broken heart, having watched and cared for my dad as he suffered an unknowable number of mini-strokes in the two years leading up to his death at 82. Nonetheless, we can’t see the particular road that lies ahead for us.

So I thought I’d share these notes, just in case I end up trapped inside an uncooperative mind and body.

When I visited an elderly friend in a nursing home after an accident, she didn’t have her teeth in. Imagine how demoralizing that would be. Moreover, she had no one to look after her and remind staff what she needed. So she was stuck. Toothless. While I don’t wear dentures (yet), you never know. So please, someone, bring me my teeth!

And please, DO NOT put my hair in a ponytail or pin it back with those childish plastic barrettes. I haven’t worn a ponytail since my twenties and for good reason. My thin, wispy hair makes for a ridiculous ponytail with the diameter of a pencil. Cut it short. Judi Dench short. Let it (finally) go grey, fine. But please, no ponytail, no barrettes.

Before you judge me for my vanity, let me say that my lovely sister-in-law wants someone to please (please, please…) remember to pencil in her eyebrows. Perhaps she’ll have them tattooed on before she forgets.

And if I’m confused or anxious, don’t give me drugs. Give me crayons. This simple remedy occurred to me a couple of years ago, while lying on the floor coloring and eating graham crackers with my then toddler granddaughter. I noticed how happy I felt. Contented, you know? Just a lazy, lovely activity with something and someone sweet. My mother enjoyed coloring too, and would often let housework go undone to spend a morning doodling away with me. Graham crackers and milk just add to the blissful experience. Any coloring book will do. Dora, Disney princesses, dinosaurs, I won’t care.

I want to believe that somewhere deep inside, a little nugget of my five-year-old self will still exist, remember, and calm right down.

So if you visit me at Happy Acres, I hope you bring me crayons and graham crackers. And please, make it the big boxes. I like to share.

 

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9 thoughts on “In case I forget…

  1. So much in this post speaks to me!
    I LOVE coloring. Have bought different books to color in and gotten either crayons, or markers. I’ve also doodled with Paint app by Microsoft.

    My mother’s aunt Margaret lived to over 100, when I met her. She was living at home, but was blind and deaf. My own mother lived to 86, and my father was 95 when he passed in 2013. He never wore his dentures unless he was eating. He did spend his time writing, and made up his own games with pictures and cards.
    His sister is still living, and is 95 now. Sadly, she can’t walk very well, and feels that in these last years there is very little which is good. Her husband is still alive, but very sick, and they are both housebound.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you stopped by! My granddaughter is nearly six now and LOVES coloring with me. She lives nearby now and we have a basket dedicated to our coloring supplies. In my family there are only two of our elders (my dad’s contemporaries) left. They are our only buffer. When they go, my cousins and I rise to the top of the heap. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lorie, I woke up this morning smiling about you decreeing your hair should not be in a ponytail or held back by pink barrettes. I, too, have noticed the barrettes. I’m going to add them to my letter of instructions.

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  3. This is very nice (the “diameter of a pencil” image was just perfect), and I am scribbling notes to make sure that crayons are in my Happy Acres Hope Chest. (I may actually allow for barrettes at my final floor show, just because it would annoy those members of my family who are fully deserving of annoyance.) As for the unsatisfactory aspects of the longevity of life’s journey, here’s a link that I offer not in a bit of self-promo but simply because I think you might enjoy this: https://lageose.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/10-more-signs-that-your-body-just-isnt-what-it-used-to-be/

    Liked by 1 person

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