Today I visited my 88 year old Aunt Lois. I was named after her with my middle name, and oh how I hated telling my middle name when I was a kid. LOIS. Ugh!
I am her 50 year old niece, and I brought with me her 48 year old niece, and her 25 and 23 year old grandniece and nephew, all of whom are visiting me this weekend from their home in Ft. Worth, TX.
My 88 year old aunt seved sandwiches for lunch, and then cooked a turkey dinner in honor of the occassion. A full turkey- mashed potato- stuffing- gravy- and green bean casserole dinner. With a delicious homemade chocolate cake for dessert.
I had tried to talk her into eating at least one of these meals out, but she doesn't get a chance to cook for company often anymore so she insisted. My uncle died a few years ago after 52 years of marriage, and my aunt likes to stay busy.
While the turkey roasted, she went shopping with us. It's her bonding thing with my cousin (not with me.) That's OK, Aunt and I live here in FL and I see a lot more of her than my cousin does, or ever did. Aunt Lois drove herself to the plaza when we went shopping so she could leave early and go home to tend to the turkey. She was driving behind me and up my butt for driving too slowly.
My 88 year old aunt take no medications. She had both hips replaced in her 70s, and can't stay on her feet as long as she once did, but still volunteers at the hospital twice a week. She also flies to NJ regularly to visit her son and his family, although she acquiesces now to a wheel chair to get to and from the gate at the airport. She'll be at my nephew's wedding on Long Island in October, god-willing.
Today I said something about her age - 86. That's when she corrected me and told me she'd be 88 in October.
My 88 year old aunt is frustrated with Vista on her new laptop. Also with Word 2007. She is writing her life story and the new softwares have slowed her down. It's an interesting story for a girl from a tiny town in Vermont, especially the WWII years when she was WAC in London during the blitz. She came home to a job in the FBI (clerical of course) in NYC, which she was forced to quit when she married (by the gov't., not by my uncle). I've promised to be back over Labor Day to tutor her on the software . I have a dream of getting her to post it here.
My mother, her sister, died in 1991 at age 65. I have my mother's vices, and probably won't take full advantage of this awesome genetic material.
I know that many of you are struggling with far less than optimal conditions with your aging parents. I lost mine well before I had to deal with any of that. I hope my Aunt's story does not hurt you. It is a story to be celebrated, amidst all the pain and misfortune of less healthy elders, I hope.
Thanks for listening. Thanks to OS for being here so I have a place to tell this story. Someday the shoe will drop and she will be gone, and I fear that I have not appreciated her enough. This is a teardrop in the bucket for when that time comes.
Nancy Lois (kelly)