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Day 808

The elderly

I joined Ma for lunch. We met Norma who is elegant and full of humour, gratitude and interesting talk. She's in her 80s, wheelchair bound and quite blind, but she carries herself with aplomb, chats as though we’re at a cocktail party and is positive about everything. She said she finds the home ‘faultless’ and how happy she is to be so thoroughly looked after. She’d been a magistrate, had written and illustrated a book, had lived in West Africa for 14 years, been the first woman to ski in every continent (and won the guiness book of world record for it). I enthused to Ma afterwards and she said simply, ‘It is easier for you because you could hear what she was saying.’ She didn't have her hearing aid in. We had all forgotten to put it in.

I went to see Tiggy Winkle afterwards. She was fast asleep but as soon as she opened her eyes it was as though she was in the middle of a party " very sociable, switched on, friendly and chatty. She has her operation tomorrow. I said I would call in on Monday. She said she wasn’t cancelling her summer B&B guests.

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  • Otter Otter
    4 weeks ago

    I love your tag on this entry: Ways of being old. There really are so many different ways! My two biological grandmothers are wildly different from each other. Both are in their mid-80s. My maternal grandmother is an insufferable grouch that cannot be appeased - whatever we gave her was not enough, and so we haven't spoken to her in a decade. My paternal grandmother is one of the lights of my life: She has a tinkling laugh (and she laughs often), is affectionate, humorous, and loves a good margarita. She's a strong Catholic who raised 8 children on her own in a tiny 2-bedroom house, and her favorite saying is "life is too short to be cranky." It sounds like you and your Ma met a very interesting woman!

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