My childhood was full of elderly people sharing our home. Great Aunt Lillis for about 8 years had cared for my Dad and Aunt Sissy after the death of their mom. In her later years she would live with us from 3 to 6 months each year. My Granny Chandler spent almost every weekend at our home after the loss of Grandaddy in the late 1940's. She passed in 1969 so that is a lot of years around old folks.
Now I am the Grandma. I have my share of the physical ailments associated with aging. One adjusts with glasses, knees replaced, bladder and urethra lifts, arch supports and pain creams. I attempt to not focus on the aches and pains. My Son would probably differ and would say I talk about old people stuff a lot What can I say? He will not let me talk about my worm farm, recycling or sex in your senior years so that is about all that is left. Of course I could read a book and have a discussion with him. I go to sleep reading.
Frequently I look to my Granny Chandler for inspiration on how to be successful in aging. Granny remained mentally sharp up until the last few months of her life. She could sit on the front porch steps with her knees almost to her chin as recent as the summer before her passing at 87 years old. She would do a shuffle jig with her great grand children occasionally. She told stories, many over and over again much to my mom's dismay. That is what we begin to do as we age. That may be due to lack of input of new stories. I digress.
|Granny at 67 years old on the steps|
Granny never quit telling the kids to act right or, "Bloody Bones and Raw Hide 'ill come n' git you." She wore a bun at the base of her head. Granny never complained about young people. Momma said just this weekend that she does not remember hearing Granny complain about getting old, or aches or pains. Granny dipped snuff. I have what is left of her last can of snuff, Garrett's White Label. She would send me to the store to buy it for her when I was ten and I could drive by myself to Trab's. Trab sold me the snuff without asking for an ID. It was a different time and, yes, I was driving a stick shift when I was 10.
Granny made eight dozen hot rolls for Christmas of 1968. Three days later she had a mild stroke. Uncle Clay took her to the hospital. A few days later in an attempt to get out of bed to catch up with Clay as he was leaving the room she fell. Her hip was broken. Surgery was done but she would never sit on the front steps again. She passed away two days before her 87th birthday. The undertaker did a fine job with one minor exception, her mouth. It looked more like she was needing to spit some snuff than looking like her smile. We sisters smiled at that. Granny was giving us one last bit of fun with her. We buried her on her 87th birthday in February, 1969, less than two months after the stroke.
Granny always looked old to me. But there was something about her that was ageless. She was young at heart, full of love and giving. There was something else that I never could quite figure out about her agelessness. It has slowly come to me after something my sister reminded me about a couple of weeks ago. It may well be the secret to an elderly person who is ageless. It was neither wrinkle cream nor an exercise regiment. It was not some special diet nor herbal supplement. Very simply Granny never wore a bra.
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Release the
|There's that smug, no bra grin!|
I am off to start a bonfire with my bras if you care to join me. Or maybe you will just want to hang out with Gretchen and Ginny at The Spin Cycle to read some more takes on aging.
PS Thanks, Granny, for all you ever did for me and this one more little bit of fun with you. I will never forget your love. I shall forever love you, your kindness, your flannel sheets and endless patience.