When I Get Old

My mother is 90 years old and often says “When I get old,” as a joke. When she gets old, she will move into assisted living. When she gets old, she will stop driving.

My paternal grandparents had an argument when they were in their late sixties. He said, “Don’t spend money, we’ll need it for our old age.” She replied, “This is it.” Ironically he died before he was 70 and she lived anther 25 years and outlived a second husband. By some standards, he was old and she wasn’t.

Is a person old when he is too old to work or too old to exercise? While visiting my mother, we went to the bank. My mother knows an 85-year-old women who works there. This 85-year-old works eight to five, five days a week as well as half days on Saturday. She doesn’t drive, but on the previous Sunday walked to Walmart and back to get a haircut. Walmart is seven miles away.

I see the symptoms of age in myself. I have arthritis in my hands and I have less energy than I did before. Yet I am working full time and am in reasonably good health. When I was in my twenties anyone over sixty was old. I am over sixty, and when I get old I suppose I will know it.

Meg Baxter at 90

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