Monday, October 10, 2011

Old people on being old

           “Old” carries a negative connotation, but Webster defines it as simply having been in existence for a long time. Of course “a long time” is relative. From my perspective, my grandmothers were always old. Although now I think how one was 46 and the other 51 when I was born. Those ages don’t seem “old” to me now.
            Which is probably why my email friend Juanita, at 80+, got a chuckle out of my first post here…she’s trying to remember what 60 felt like.  =)
            Grandma Mabel used to say, “It’s heck to get old.” This was as close to a complaint I ever heard from her. It would be her reaction to some age-related malady and was always accompanied by a smile that disallowed any anger or fear to enter into the picture for this granddaughter.
            That flowed into Grandma Ruth’s admonition: “It’s a great life if you don’t weaken.” Her eyes would twinkle and communicate to me, “Yeah, it’s hard, but embrace it all.”
            From my dad I heard, when he was in his 70s and suffering from lung cancer: “Inside I’m still 18.” By then I was in my 50s and I knew what he was saying.
            It’s an echo of Gertrude Stein’s “We are always the same age inside.”
            So I guess age matters but it doesn’t, not in the deep-down, real-self being.

            Movie review. . .My Afternoons with Margueritte, a delightful French movie about the friendship between an OLD woman and a man. Well really it’s about mother-son relationships but on the surface is this sweet connection. The woman is always dressed in pink and reading a book. He has left reading behind since a teacher basically told him he did not know how to read. Of course the woman introduces him to classics and before you know it he’s reading and he’s changing and he’s learning to forgive his mother and not be afraid to live and love well.
            Foreign movies are so fun because the actors are so real in appearance, not beautiful models.

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