Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Aging gracefully

Growing up, I had all girl cousins. There were seven of us and this was both the delight and torture of my Nana's life. She loved to brag to everyone about "her grandbabies," but since we were all girls, and she had a hard time keeping our names straight in a hurry, she would often just start at the top and work her way down to the person she needed.

It wasn't unusual for her to holler through the house, "Dorrell, Debbie, Dina, Heather, come to the table; the food's ready."

This is what we still continue to tease her about--well we also tend to tease her about her love for the word S@#%. Seriously, it's a hilarious topic of conversation in our family--how Nana, when she doesn't think anyone is listening and something doesn't go right she'll say, "Well, s$#% fire!"

I don't know the origin of such a phrase. Could it be her Alabama upbringing, or is this just an Evelyn creation? Either way, it's safe to say I've never seen anyone s@%$ fire and all I can say about that is OUCH.

This evening my sweet grandparents were here visiting. The older I get and the older they get, the more I appreciate each and every visit no matter how short it may be. I find myself watching out more and more protectively of them. The roles are reversing and I often caution them to drive carefully. When they got ready to leave, Nana missed the step in our garage and would've taken a nasty fall if she hadn't fallen into my mom who caught her. It's funny that at the beginning of our lives we fall a lot and everybody worries and once we're old, everybody worries that we'll fall a lot. Anyway, after she tried to laugh it off by saying that she was too busy talking to pay attention to the step, I noticed exactly why she almost fell. Was it the step? Probably, but it almost might've had something to do with the three inch heels on her sandals.

No, I'm not kidding. My 85 year old grandma was wearing sandals with three inch heels. Who does she think she is? Paris Hilton?

"Nana!" I said shocked, "Your shoes are so high! Don't you find them difficult to walk in?"

She looked back at me and smiled, "Oh, do you like them? I've noticed that it's the style now-a-days...heels with slacks, so I figured why not?" (side note: who still calls pants slacks, anyway?)

Why not? Can you say BROKEN HIP? TWISTED ANKLE? FRACTURED VERTEBRAE? That's why not!

AHHHH! This just adds to my list of worries. Why can't she be a granny who wears sensible shoes with gripping soles and laces?

But, I didn't say anything to her because I realized that part of the reason that Nana is still so active and with it is because she refuses to believe she's old. She calls people in their 70's old men and women! We've stopped pointing out to her that someone who is 70 could technically be her child because she loves to think young. And, I guess if wearing shoes that look like she bought them at Forever 21 make her feel young, then more power to her.

As long as she doesn't start wearing mini-skirts.

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