Aging with grace

Stepping out of my beloved Prius as K found a spot to park before my early morning routine blood work appointment at the local clinic I spied a pretty lady ahead of me reading the board that listed all the offices in that building. Towering over her I read along. She smiled and asked me if I knew where the clinic was. Turned out she was there for blood work as well and like me it was her first time at this new location. As we walked out, I struggled with the door handle pressing the wrong side forcing it to open. She waited for me to give up and with a smile again opened the panel adjacent to the one I was fighting with and walked out with grace.

Following her and berating myself for my clumsiness we both made it to the clinic door seconds apart. She walked in first and registered and I waited behind wondering if I had walked a little faster may be I would have been first in line. As I stood respectfully at a distance while the person at the counter assisted her, I watched as she fumbled with her purse dropping coins and gave out her personal details so the technician could pull up her record.

K and I were both stunned when we realized she was older than our grandmothers. At a little over 80, she had driven herself to the clinic and had the energy of a little squirrel as she calmly went about her activities. I watched as she hung up her coat and waited. She had bright red lipstick on, a pretty hairstyle and was dressed in a comfortable pair of pants and sweater. She looked very dignified and in control. I couldn’t help but be reminded of my paati.

On my way out we watched as she drove ahead of us. All through my ride to work, I could not help wishing I would be half the person she was at her age. If I lived that long. There was something very graceful and beautiful about her. The kind of innocence and beauty I find in babies. Life does come a full circle.

11 comments

  1. So totally with you on the spirit of this post Laksh. I could write pages on my neighbor, a senior citizen, living by herself and so fiercely independent. A couple of other folks, including my own mil, who teach me how to age with grace. But inspite of all that independence and sportive attitude, there is a certain loneliness hidden behind that’s often hard to prepare for.

  2. I have been wanting to write a comment but I am keyboard struck ..I am sure she found you cute and talked about you to somebody ..We are all graceful in our own ways. With age comes grace to save face !!

  3. SS is right we are all graceful in our own individual ways, the line ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ comes to mind. That is why we should smile as you never know who is watching you and thinking and having the same thoughts you have had today. I too wish that I would be admired like that when and if I reach that age, don’t we all 🙂

  4. totally with you and wish I age gracefully.
    Laksh, weird coincidence, I was going to blog in few days about my city’s mayor Hazel McCallon, 88 years old (born 1921). She has been this city’s mayor for 31 years; a no-nonsense politician and really fierce person( checkout my blog when you get time, I should do it soon before I get too old:))

  5. I totally agree!!
    I am in a choir full of old women, most in their 70s 80s. I find them really cute, and really admire their enthusiasm too!
    One of the things I def dont want when I grow old is to depend on others for my survival. SO I have started to do whatever I can now to be fit and healthy.

  6. Laksh, I have a neighbor who is 87 years old. She has undergone a heart surgery and is living on oxygen tube but she lives alone all by herself. She has 2 daughters (who are in their early 60s) nearby and a son in Philly but she tells me that she finds it better living like this. Her daughters visit her regularly, take her clothes get in laundered, prepare food and store it in the fridge etc. I really admire her courage. She was also driving until she turned 81 it seems. My mother after visiting her could not stop talking about her confidence and courage. She also keeps herself updated about everything. You can give her a topic current or past and she has something meaningful to say. I too always think how will I fare if I live that long.

  7. Yeah.. well said.. there are certain people who seem to get better and better day by day.. and just glitter during their old age, with their dignified actions and controlled speech…. we just cant help admiring them.. one such celebrity who comes to mind is M.S.Subbulakshmi.. the way she carried herself in the concerts.. her glittering nose-pin and even more glittering smile and the spark in her eyes… truly amazing.. once read a book about here.. where some of her pics from her childhood to her last days were published… where she seemed to get more and more beautiful on every passing year…. ur post reminded me of her….

  8. @Suman: I agree. As we left, the lady at the clinic asked her if everything was alright and the lady replied with a twinkle in her eye “Do I look OK?”. Something about the way she said it was very cute.
    @SS: Funny you say that. After we left S’s place the other day, I kept thinking you were very graceful.
    @Sachita: LOL 🙂 Not sure if that is a prerequisite.
    @Kiran: True. I guess it all depends on what age we are mentally. It shines through.
    @Shy: Waiting for your post. BTW loved the one you had on about Easter.
    @SK: Good start! Somehow, I can never seem to take my health very seriously.
    @Madhu: I remember you have told me about your neighbour even before. Hats off to her!
    @Shankar: You hit the nail on the head. I always think of MSS when I think of grace.

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