You’ve Got To Be Tough To Get Old

First thing I do every morning is take my thyroid medication because the instructions say to take on an empty stomach, 30 minutes before a meal and continue on the same schedule forever till you die (instructions don’t really say that last part).  If I don’t do it this way I forget.  In the past I have taken two, sometimes none at all.  Nothing bad happened, but I’m afraid to press my luck.

Second thing I do is put drops in my eyes – not a prescription, just moisturizing drops so my eyeballs roll around a little easier.

During a vision appointment several years ago I was a little offended by the ophthalmologist.  She encouraged me to put drops in regularly as I was of a “certain age”.  I thought she was assuming a lot….. but the eyes must have given me away.  At my recent appointment she reminded me again …. “the more drops the better”.  Ok, ok.  Blah, blah, blah.

Those tell-tale signs of aging are flying at me pretty fast these days.

The husband recently blew out his knee.  He’s been gimping around with a brace and a crutch.  Well, sometimes a crutch.  His hands hurt so bad from arthritis that he can’t grip it hard enough to hold himself up.

Doug and I stood up at the same time recently.  It sounded like we’d stepped in a giant bowls of Rice Krispies with all the snapping and crackling going on.

Many years ago I was visiting my grandparents.  In their late 80s and 90’s at the time and beset with a variety of physical issues, I took them out for lunch.  Parked the car, ran around to the passenger side to open doors for them.  They popped out of their seats like spring-loaded cupie dolls….. reminiscent of four boys released from the side door of the family van…. all going in different directions.

“Nany, wait a minute, I’ll help you”, as I rushed to the trunk to pull Papa’s oxygen canister out for him.  Papa reached passed me and lifted out his own oxygen tank.

“You better go grab your grandmother”, as he shook his head, “before she wanders off with some stranger”.

And indeed, she was tottering off in the wrong direction, talking as if I were right next to her.  It took awhile to get them both together, headed in the same direction, to the same restaurant.

I was remembering that day as I drove Doug to a orthopedist appointment last week in Portland.  I hate driving in Portland.  And Doug does NOT give clear directions.  I think he “thinks” he said something but in reality he only thought it.  So we ride along silently until….

“Hey! I told you to turn there”.

“no, no you didn’t say a word”.

“yes I did, you need to turn.”

“Really, can I turn there?”


“it looks one way”

“it is …. your way…turn!!!

We clearly don’t know where we’re going.  But where ever it is we better get tougher because I suspect it’s going to be a long road.

A couple of weeks ago I spent eight days visiting my parents.  It’s an eleven hour drive, which I find exhausting, but once there I know I am in for an enjoyable, peaceful visit.

Mom and Dad, on the latter side of 80, are still well engaged with life, friends, family and church.  Every morning Dad’s up and dressed by 6:30 and out the door to get the paper.  He waters the garden and reads the paper until Mom enters the kitchen around 8.

The coffee pot goes on and Mom fixes a simple breakfast.  Dad sets their daily medications on the table.  Then he pours them each a small glass of Xango juice which they drink faithfully every morning.  They don’t simply drink it …. they toast each other.  And they say “I love you”.  And then they sit down to eat.  It was a privilege to be included in their morning ritual.

I loved starting each morning at this table with these two favorite people of mine.

And every morning before she takes her first bite, Mom grabs a white squeeze bottle, tilts her head back and plunks a couple drops in, “to get these eyeballs rolling around better”.

Yes ….. a long road ahead.

7 thoughts on “You’ve Got To Be Tough To Get Old

  1. Courtney

    Awww, this was one of my favorite posts yet. I feel a little silly saying this but the part about them toasting their Xango & saying “I love you” to eachother….made me tear up. That is the sweetest thing! I love to see couples still in love after so many years. Dan & I used to talk about that in high school & still do now….we hope to be ‘that’ couple when we get a ‘certain age’. I think it’s very important to remind eachother the way you feel, whether it’s a good day or bad day….remember the BIG picture. The petty little things that happen in life, really don’t matter that much. I’m grateful that Dan & I don’t waste too much time on them….occasionally, but not much. Anyways… point being, I appreciate the love your parents share & hope to keep our’s too 🙂

    In regards to your ‘long road ahead’….. I believe this life we lead right now is just a small speck of our existence. So again referring to the BIG picture, the road is actually never ending. The nice thing is, the ‘rice crispies’ & imperfections we all have, will someday be gone. Hopefully we can all live now with enough faith & love to get us thru that long, long road that is forever. 😉

    Thank you for your posts. I have a few that I need to catch up on reading, but I’ve enjoyed them all so far!


    1. You are a very wise, young woman, Courtney – -so true on the Big Picture. I feel a little teary-eyes too when I think of my folks and how devoted they are to each other. And I appreciate your comments and encouragement – – I’ve definitely lucked out in the daughters-in-law department 🙂


  2. My grandmother use to say, “We’re only as old as we think we are.” I’m inclined to add, “and sometimes I think I’m older than I want to be.” My husband says growing old isn’t for wimps! We don’t have a lot of control over the limitations caused by aging, but attitude is a big factor in how we deal with them. I try to look past the little (and sometimes not so little) nuisances and take time to acknowledge and appreciate the blessings. It occurred to me not so long ago that it is because those nuisances make me slow down that I now have more time to enjoy the blessings. A silver lining?


    1. I think you’ve got the right idea, Carol….that silver lining to slowing down 🙂 There is so much to enjoy and I think I missed alot of that when I was younger and constantly on the run. Yesterday when three of my grandkids were here I just enjoyed them and didn’t worry about any messes to clean up. In a few hours they would be home with parents and I would have more than enough time to clean up. So I just focused on all the fun …. kind of wish I’d done more of that when mine were little tho 🙂


  3. Since I started having major back surgeries at 37 years old, and it is 17 years later, I can’t imagine how I will be feeling in the next twenty years…scary! But I do know I will have a joyous spirit and laugh all the way to the doctor’s office…haha!
    My sons have promised to take away the car keys if I get out of control 🙂
    Loved your post, Brooke!
    Take care,


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