Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's Better Than the Alternative

Jon Carroll and his wife are...well,let him say it.

But the thing is, and I want to approach this delicately, we're old. I know 60 is the new 30 and all that, but people do get old, and by most objective measures, we're there.

It's wonderful to contemplate that the people who make jokes about old people will one day be old themselves. No cure for that but premature death.

Here's a tip for younger people: When an older person tells you his or her age, the polite thing to say is "No way."

On the other hand.....

So I am thinking about all this, my very ancient self about to get even ancienter, and then I think about Ruth, who is Tracy's mother. Ruth is 97, and yes, you're so right, "No way." To put it another way, when she was my age, I was 33. And is she doing fine? No, of course not - she's 97. Things hurt. The world closes in. But she can still make jokes, have political opinions (she would like you to vote for Obama), listen to books on tape and eat chocolate every day.

My wife's grandmother is 93 and still lives in her own apartment. This means that my wife's grandkids get the chance to know their great-great-grandmother, which is a rare and fine thing. It also means that Grandbaby has more Grandmas than she'll be able to keep straight for a while; without knowing much about her dad's side I count 6. Again, a fine thing; I've never heard of too many Grandmas being a problem for a kid.

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