Just I started the book, Distant Shores by Kristin Hannah and am enjoying it very much. Birdie loves her home along the ocean and her children. Her husband was once the love of her life, but now something is missing. Birdie wonders if she’s the one whose missing out on life.
I once could waltz around the dance floor light as a feather for hours with a glowing smile on my face. My skin was smooth and my eyes sparkled with joy and enthusiasm. I was young and vital — once.
Years later, the morning sunshine awakens me but I don’t pop up out of bed full of energy. My joints are stiff and painful. It takes me a considerable amount of time to sit on the side of the bed. Please don’t be impatient with me, I’m moving as fast as I can. Simple things like washing my face and brushing my hair make me short of breath as I struggle to raise my arms. Even feeding myself takes too much out of me some days.
If my clothes don’t match or I put them on inside-out, please don’t laugh at me. I’d appreciate your help. My eyesight is poor despite the bifocal glasses perched on my nose. It isn’t because I don’t care, I still want to look nice. The days of throwing something on and looking great are over. Now, I struggle with buttons and zippers. I prefer velcro to shoelaces because my knuckles are swollen with arthritis.
If I don’t seem to be following the conversation, please remember to speak slowly and clearly. Don’t yell at me just because I’m elderly it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m deaf.
Thank you for treating me with respect — like the adult I am and not like a child. I have lived for decades, and I have seen this world during times of peace and war. I’ve struggled with finances, raised children, and cuddled grandchildren. I’ve sacrificed and celebrated. I’ve laughed and cried. I’ve sat at the side of my parents’ hospital beds and held their hands in their last moments on this earth.
Now that I am facing my twilight years I don’t want to be forgotten while I am still alive. Come to visit me. Take me out to lunch. Your presence means the world to me.
If you see me sitting alone, stop to chat a moment. And if I repeat myself, please understand and don’t remind me that my memory isn’t as good as it once was. Just a few minutes of feeling relevant in the eyes of another human will make my entire day.
I am tomorrow. I am lost youth. I will be you.
What is it about being a woman and having a birthday? I hear all the time from other females how terrible someone’s 30th, 40th or 50th birthday was for them, but I don’t really get it. I remember I was a little upset about turning 23 because I was meeting only 19-year-old guys and was feeling sooo much older than they were. At the time, I’d been holding down a full-time job as a nurse at a university hospital for 1-1/2 years and these dudes had just entered college.
Working at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics had a profound effect on my views on life. It was my first job as a nurse. I learned so much about medicine, nursing and the precious gift of life while I worked there. I shared laughter and good news with my patients as well as shed tears over others whose news wasn’t what anyone would have wanted to hear.
I would return to my apartment at times feeling exhilarated and at other times numbness would result in me lying fully clothed on my bed, staring at the ceiling. It changed me working in a place so closely linked with life and death. I started my quest to try the new, the scary and the crazy (at least, those things I deemed to be so). Tae Kwon Do — start classes… Join the Army Reserve — I raised my right hand… Live in Italy — “when do we leave?”… Bed & Breakfast — run one for ten years… Write books — of course!
Each decade is something to look forward to living, another chapter in my book of life needing to be written. I’ve lived in several beautiful places and visited many more. I’ve made mistakes, had a few successes, and faced the challenges life presented to me.
I turned a day older yesterday, and because it was the day of my birth, a year older too. My husband and I celebrated by drinking margaritas and eating dinner out. Afterward, we went to see a movie. My two adult sons and daughter-in-law called and wished me a Happy Birthday.
So many people have wished me well over the past few days, I want them to know I feel blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people. I have a good life and look forward to many more years.
Getting older is about more than a few wrinkles and a few added pounds, it’s about the laughter that created those lines. It’s about the people in your life that have put the frown lines on your forehead because you worried over them. It’s about the roads traveled that have worn down your joints and put a slight hitch in your stride. It’s about more than a body that sags more than it did in the past and has a few extra pounds on it.
I’ve been lucky to live as long as I have. I will never regret turning a year older because of the blessings I’ve been given. My life has given me a reason to smile and laugh, words to write, and songs to sing at the top of my lungs.
Hell yeah, turning 58 is a good thing!