Friday, August 12, 2011
Last Time I Saw You, You Were an Old Lady
I hadn’t seen my younger daughter in almost 5 months.
5 months ago, I needed a cane. I had to force myself to walk a few blocks to the nearby park. I had to sit, rather than run after my grandchildren. I couldn’t join a game of kickball. Every time I moved it felt as if a knife was stabbing me in the hip.
But in my mind, I still wanted to run after my grand children, kick the ball, climb the slides and play as I had always done. It never occurred to me that I was acting old. I didn’t feel old. I just had a worn-out hip. A replaceable part. And I had an appointment with the surgeon. Why would anybody think I was old?
But my daughter greeted me, "Last time I saw you, you were an old lady."
When I was my daughter’s age, I imagined that somehow people’s thoughts changed as they aged – they no longer wanted to run and kick balls and climb things. I was never old – in that sense. But indeed, I did act like the old people I used to watch and wonder what on Earth they were thinking – that they chose to sit rather than play.
Now, I could play again. My thoughts hadn’t changed. My body did.