[EDITORIAL NOTE: I am out of town for several days this week. In my absence, are stories from five elders and/or bloggers who have contributed to what I am calling The Oldest Old Project. They had to be at least 80 to participate and I asked how their lives had changed in the 20 or more years since they were 60. Today, Naomi Royer, with an assist from her daughter, Nana, who has kept a family blog for the past ten years.]
Changes between 60 and 87? Too gradual, too subtle to truly enumerate. My entire life has been a quiet, level journey - no peaks, no valleys and I am, have been, very content that it was so. That is, at any rate, how it appears to me no. My daughter frequently brings up events that are completely lost to me. Either my memory is truly lapsing, or hers is getting creative!
I taught school for a few years before I married at 22. Then I was occupied in raising four children, the family moving frequently in the U.S. because of my husband’s work and later, in foreign areas, when our youngest child was still in high school and left in the charge of his older brother.
Following my “mothering career,” I never returned to the work world, not having had any wish to do so, and it not being financially necessary.
I have (had) a minor gift in the arts, which I used mainly in painting portraits of the family. My bigger interest was always the piano in which, whatever skill I developed, developed on my own, with minimal basic instruction. It has always been tremendous therapy for me.
Now, even that interest has been muted by an increasing weariness - physical, and what? Spiritual? I was widowed four-and-a-half years ago and live comfortably alone with Sara, the cat. Not really alone because of the tremendous support I get from my daughter, my firstborn (and her husband too), who lives a scant ten minute walk from me.
Our roles have gradually reversed. She is now not only my daughter, but my mother too! I have three fine sons, but they are geographically distant. Having always been an introverted sort, I am content to live alone. Relaxed in my recliner and reading (none of it very intellectual) is now my main occupation. My recliner faces the TV, which is turned on less and less.
My biggest hope now? An easy exit from this world, and that it will come while I’m still me. I don’t want to make history by the length of my lifetime!
Daughter Nana at 64 and Naomi at 87:
[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Lois Cochran tells of her surprise when she learned of My New Nephew.]