Daily Prompt: Suddenly

Me 12.03.2017

Suddenly I am old. I am no longer the one where they say “you look good for your age” because my age and me are now united. Looking good for your age is not using a stick for support or wearing the comfortable stretchy trousers and nice flat walking shoes. Looking good should be something shaped to the body, which is no longer something to be shaped to because it no longer looks so good. It happens suddenly when you least expect it to happen.

I only saw my dad once a year as he lived in England and I lived in Switzerland. Every time I saw him he was a little more bent, was walking with a walker for support and he was no longer the dad that would play games with me, take me for walks. He was getting older. He passed away in 2015 at the age of 100 an I remember him once telling me a few years before that he never expected to grow so old and sometimes he did not really want to grow so old and wished it was all over. Of course, I reassured him that we were glad he was still amongst us, but how is it to live to such an age with all the problems it brings? I now know what he meant.

At the age of 71, I am getting there slowly but surely. All my life I have seen the golden oldies struggling along, a bit uncertain in their movements: even feeling sorry for them when seeing that their reactions are no longer what they were. Now it is me that no longer reacts, that struggles and does everything in slow motion. It does not happen suddenly, that is the problem. It happens slowly. Waking up in the morning with walking problems, aches in places you did not even know existed is not sudden, but one morning you realise that leaving the bed needs motions to set you in movement. Not stand up, but sway back and forth from the bed until you manage to stand on your feet. This is not temporary, but forever.

No-one told me this would be you in a few years. No-one warned me that this would be the last stages of life. I was a kid, a teenager, a young woman discovering the pleasures of life. A young married woman, a mother and now I am a grandmother.  I am the last survivor of our direct family line, my dad’s only child. I worked all my life, looked forward to being retired and no longer having to do anything, but only what I wanted to do. Unfortunately you cannot always do what you want to do when you hair is grey, your bones are fragile and all sorts of surprise illnesses arrive that you would never have thought possible.

But I have a computer, so not all is lost. I am a cyber old lady and I have a digi camera. Make the most of what is still here, I will let you know how it is when I celebrate my 80th birthday, from this side or the other.

Me, mum and dad

Me, mum and dad 1947

Daily Prompt: Suddenly

37 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Suddenly

  1. It’s pretty incomprehensible. My dad didnt’ get to grow old. I remember when I turned 45 I was very conscious that I was about to live the part of life he’d had no chance too. He was very good at living, so I tried hard to be good at it, too. My mom? Lived into her 70s — died at 76 — but was miserable in life for the last 20 years at least. I have realized that life has — each stage — crazy challenges that, from here — the vantage point of 66 — look like they were nothing. They weren’t nothing at the time, though. I dunno. I recently had to redo my “living will” since I’ll be having surgery in the next few months and if things go sideways, the hospital needs to know what I want. The first time I did one, I found it very depressing. Now I just think, “OK, that’s done.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • I discovered that my great grandmother died at he age os 92 in 1912 so there is still hope.My mum had her second heart attack at the age of 71 when she passed away.No problems with living wills here. We are Swiss, As soon as you are born it is all organised by law. No chance is leaving your fortune to a cat or dog home. Even the relatives you did not like, get their share. However you can organise who will get less, especially if there are descendents from two marriages.

      Liked by 2 people

        • Oh, I see. We have that one here as well, but I am not sure about that one. I only know that when I am gone, and Mr Swiss, there will be no great announcement and I will probably float in the local river

          Liked by 3 people

  2. I agree – it is pretty incomprehensible. Suddenly we are there…and where did all those years go? But I still like my life…even if “surprise illnesses” arrive all the time. Someone told me I should be happy if I wake up, after the age of 50, without hurting somewhere in my body. I was happy for two or three years, then it all started. I don’t mean to complain. I know I can do most things still, but hiking used to be my life – and now my knees will not work if the ground is not even. But it is amazing how we are constructed to accept things. When I got a slipped disc in my neck, I had to let go of my gardening and my heavy camera became a burden to carry. But I am still here – hopefully for a while more…
    Thank you for writing beautifully about this. Wish you a great weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I also loved to go for a walk, mainly with the camera. Now I have a wheelchair, but can still take photos. I have MS, since many years probably, but only diagnosed a few years ago but today there are many possiblities to help. I broke my leg a few weeks ago, so am now learning to walk again, but I will do it. My son now helps in the garden and my husband and son do the ironing between them, but somehow we continue.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are a tough and strong woman, you will continue. So glad you have family members who help you! I have a friend with MS too, also a tough woman. I guess you have to be to make it work. Warm hugs to you.

        Liked by 2 people

        • MS has many facets. My problem is tiring quickly and now my hands are no longer so good with their feeling. However a friend of mine pointed out that beause I touch type it does not have such a negative effect when I work on the keyboard. My main problem is using a knife and fork.

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          • I know my friend has difficulties with her hands as well. She also easily falls, as she walks with a stick and does not use a wheel chair yet.

            Liked by 2 people

          • The wheelchair was my idea and Mr. Swiss. I had a few stupid falls, losing my balance and we decided wheelchair would be the best solution. I paid for it myself, an electric chair, and now I have my freedom again to go places. I can carry my camera with me and also my zoom lens in a bag. The best decision I made. I do not use the wheelchair for shopping trips as I can support myself with the supermarket trolley. I just want to have the maximum comfort possible.

            Liked by 2 people

  3. I have to say Pat, I am hating it too and I am some years behind you, stuff goes wrong and there’s not alot you can do about it. So I like your resolve, do what you can while you can. Best wishes.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My year has now flipped around and I’m 71 tomorrow. I used to look young for my age, but that was 15 years ago. Now, I look my age. Maybe older. Garry looks younger than me and he’s five years older. But I am still able to BE on my feet. Not like I used to be, but still, upright. I’m still appalled and amazed at how fast this year has disappeared.

    My mother died at 71, but my father was 93. My brother was gone at 62. I think I’m living in a crap shoot. Who knows?

    Liked by 2 people

    • My computer reminded me that it is your birthday tomorrow. As the Swiss say it is unlucky to congratulate before the day I will be back tomorrow. I also looked younger than my age, but those days are now gone. Mr Swiss is 8 years older than me and is no longer so fit with his back problems. Mum died early and Dad was half a year over 100. Age is just not something i was prepared for , I thought it only happened to the others

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, that phrase–you look good for your age. What are they trying to tell me? I figure I know I am getting older when the old gentleman in the store calls me ‘young lady.’ Who is he kidding? I know that is code for’ ‘you’re as old as I am!’ No matter, Pat–we are alive and doing the best we can. That counts for something.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Don’t wait until you are 80 …. keep telling us every day how you feel. You write so well and it is so interesting to read your posts. I am 67 and can see a lot of myself in your essay. SFsusu @ SLP.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The computer keeps us connected, and the blogging world too. Hard to accept the changes that come with each passing year. Hitting 60 this year made me realize there are more years behind than in front, but no guarantees of anything anyway. You seem to have found the positives, and move along with them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I really treasure the computer. I have met so many wonderful people on my blogging way and love also reading about their side of the blogging world. We never know what the future holds, but as long as we can write about the present it is the main thing.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I rolled over in bed last night and yelped in pain. My first thought was “What’s gone wrong now? Looks like I have to give up sleeping on that side from now on.”
    An hour later I discovered a clothes peg under the sheet!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I love that it doesn’t matter how old one gets – it does not define their soul and the depth of who they are. Our inner being strives to continue, our outside may change drastically, slowly, but surely, but our spirit lives on. Keep posting, and sharing your wisdom and inspiration. It’s a beautiful thing. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What very good words of encouragement. It is important to continue. I am missing my daily routine very much since I broke my leg, but every day I try to overcomeva little more..

      Like

  10. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Suddenly by Anglo Swiss – Timeless

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