I have been thinking rather a lot lately on the subject of growing old. It happens to all of us who have been spared the alternative-and is as inevitable as the turning of the earth, and taxes. If anyone asks how it feels I usually manage to smile brightly and say that it feels OK, quite natural, and just throw in a pseudo joke about 'could do without the creaky joints' or 'the important things are still working.' But lately, as bloody arthritis catches me out when I'm least expecting it; when I stride out confidently with Milou and hobble home and JP says 'That's it, I'll take him in future.' Or when I think of something to write here or simply to add another item to my grocery list-and in the time it takes me to find pen and paper I have forgotten it; that is when I start to wonder if I have reached the apogee and am beginning the quick slide down.
I can write this, know what I want to say and can say it. I'm a whiz at Code word puzzles, Scrabble, Rummy and Belote; I love a good argument as long as you let me speak [before I lose the thread] have a trillion recipes in my head, as well as the lyrics to any song written between the 1930's and the 1960's. But...
I'm so nostalgic for the old me. The me who ran rather than walked, who danced at the first tarradiddle and did not stop until the musicians were packing away their instruments. I remember how it felt to feel alive, almost able to follow the path of my blood pumping in my veins and laughing out loud at the sheer joy of being young and alive. That arrow dart of desire, bidden or unbidden, and it's promise. The expectations for a better tomorrow and the fulfilment of long laid plans.
NOAOson asked me, the other day, prefacing the question with...'Not meaning you or Dad..' I think it was the Tesco story that triggered the query although he was vehement that that was not the case[ can't really blame him if it was]
NOAOson: 'Mum, how do you know, if you are...when...um...well not quite...um?
Me: Hazelmere? [our family speak for Alzheimers ]
NOAOson: Well yes. If you had it you would hardly be able to diagnose yourself, would you? Well not you.
Me: It is a perfectly valid question and reminds me of something I read ages ago. 'It doesn't mean you have to worry if you forget where you put the car keys, only if you forget what the car keys are for.'
And so far I can still remember, just as well as I can remember the young, vibrant me.
But don't worry my friends...this is just a passing phase, and I shall grow out of it.