Senior Situations

I moved my Dad in with me eleven years ago, and today he is 90 years old.

One of my favorite things we’ve done together is publishing a book of his poems.  From the chapter, Senior Situations, I get a particular kick out of this one:

I check the mirror and I see
Methuselah instead of me,
So I resolve right there and then:
“Don’t check that looking glass again!”
If I refrain and thus don’t see
What passing time has done to me
I might forget I’m aging fast
And think I’m young as in the past.
So when you’re old just stay away
From looking glasses every day
And then you’ll never have to view
The ruin looking back at you.

Here is what his book looks like:

48564859Click on the front and back covers to see Dad before & after.  “Before” is a photo from 1948, and “after,” from eleven years ago, just before he moved in with me.  (He has lost 40 lbs. since.)

The poem above reminds me of when I was in my 30s, and my younger son had been studying my face one Saturday morning when we were all snuggling in bed.  His analysis:  “Mummy, you have SO MANY wrinkles!”  It’s all relative…

Dad didn’t want a party to celebrate his transition into nanogenarian-dom.  He says that it’s difficult to have meaningful  conversations when the room is filled with people.  So last year, to celebrate his 90th year, I arranged for surprise events with individuals he enjoys.  The deal was that the discussion would have to center around Dad’s studies and interests — cosmology, philosophy, anthropology, religion, poetry, and/or Shakespeare.   He didn’t find out what the event was until we got there.  This would be Dad’s ultimate jubilee.  One was with his family doctor.  Another, with a faculty member from his high school Alma Mater.  And another, with a waitress from his favorite local restaurant.  Because of these series of mini-parties, from now on, we are making more of an effort to get together with special friends and family more often.

One of the reasons why Dad enjoys longevity is because he walks several times every day. Even during a raging blizzard last winter, he donned his boots, and off he went.  When he got home, he told me that a policeman pulled up next to him and asked if he was OK.  Apparently, a neighbor in our condo complex called the authorities, and reported that an old man was wandering around in the middle of the blinding snow storm.  Dad told the officer that all was well.  …that he grew up in Minneapolis when storms like this were a regular event, and it reminded him of his childhood.

You rock, Dad!  Happy Birthday!!!


Yours in aging with class,

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4 Responses to Senior Situations

  1. Katharine Eastman says:

    I loved it! What a perfect post for Dad’s 90th birthday. You’re fortunate to have Dad in your life, and he’s fortunate to have you in his. Happy Birthday, Dad! I love you both. Kathy

  2. Liz says:

    That was a wonderful post. Happy Birthday to Dad!

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