Friday, January 27, 2017
Growing Old Gracefully
I have a life history of not doing anything gracefully, so trying to age with style is becoming a serious challenge.
When I was eight, the teacher and my parents agreed that I should leave Miss Yvonne Greene's School of Dance because whenever I raised one foot off the floor, I fell over sideways. I also couldn't do a somersault. Everyone else could, but not me.
At St. Anthony's School, I was part of the choir, but, after the tryout of a new hymn where I held the note a little longer than everyone else, I was asked to simply mouth the words in the future.
In high school, all the girls wore fifty-yard petticoats under our skirts. We starched and ironed them every few days to maintain their pouf. I was running up the stairs to class at the same time the football team was running down to practice and one of the guys stepped on my skirt. I kept running up, noticing a tickle at my ankles. It was my petticoat, brought down by that errant step. All the guys had stopped to watch. I thought the coolest thing to do was simply step out of it and get to class, but once you're out of it, how do you carry fifty yards of starched netting? It was around me and above me and under my feet. I probably looked like something from another planet. It was not a graceful moment.
Now we're trying to set up our house for downstairs living. I'm having knee replacement surgery early in March. We have a wonderful neighbo,r a retired CNA, who will stay with Ron while I'm in the hospital, then look in on us after I get home. So, I'm trying to set up everything beforehand so life will be simple for everyone.
Well. Did you know that if you're having knee replacement surgery, you have to have an okay from the dentist that says there are no infections in your mouth? I didn't, either. Apparently, any infection can go straight to the joint after surgery. I had to have x-rays, an examination, and my teeth cleaned. Good grief. The teeth cleaning was like being waterboarded. There was an air tube and a water tube in my mouth, and a very nasty-looking hooky thing in the hygienist's hand. I was stoic, but it was ugly. When she was finally finished, I sat up so eagerly that I kicked over a tray with very noisy stuff on it that flew all over. I apologized for not being more sedate - and graceful, The staff laughed and gave me credit for having such a good kick at my age.
We've talked about putting in a half-bath downstairs for ages, and now seems like the time. My friend Barb, the CNA, is barely five feet tall and I don't want her to have to get Ron up and down the stairs. The plumber we hired to do the job got pneumonia the day after he came over to give me an estimate, and I haven't seen him since. Meanwhile, the contents of my pantry, where we're putting the bathroom, is now all over the dining room table while I try to reorganize and rearrange. The vacuum, carpet shampooer, broom, etc are in the kitchen, and all the shelving I had to take down are at the top of the basement stairs, I keep tripping over things, and I have no idea where my 4-cup measuring bowl is.
If this post makes no sense you you, I understand. It all sort of connected in my mind, but that's really not a fruitful place for order and good sense. It's okay, though. Maybe grace isn't as much in your style - or in your brain - as in your faith that one day, life will finally come together and you'll feel like you know what you're doing. I'm still waiting, but I do have faith, so I must be aging gracefully.