Sunday, November 30, 2014

Her Beautiful Aging

An early Christmas card arrived in the mail from my dear friend, Karin. She and I worked together at a small hotel years ago, where she was the landscaper and I, the front desk clerk. We became fast friends. Two people, opposite in their backgrounds and personalities, found friendship hidden somewhere in our differences. She is blunt with me when needed, and I listen to her advice as if it were delivered by a wise aunt. She is just that -- wise. Now 25 years after our first meeting in the lobby of a small town motel, with me in my navy uniform and she with dirt on her hands, we carry on our friendship mostly through letters, accented by the occasional cup of coffee when we travel through each other's respective towns. 

She has no internet access, a choice she has made to maintain the peaceful life she desires. So, we communicate through letters -- old-fashioned, handwritten letters. Nothing brings a smile to my face faster than the sight of her handwriting peeking through a stack of bills pulled from my mailbox. 

Today, her Christmas card arrived. Hers is always one of the first, if not the first, to arrive, as she is always ahead of the game when it comes to holidays. Her choice of card this year (her choices always unique) was that of a large polar bear sleeping next to a Scandinavian child in full native dress. It is perfectly Karin. Inside the card waited a poetic observation of the aging process by my wise friend. She offers this description:

Not too hot a summer
with occasional rain,
But this aging thing
is affecting my brain.
Dried porridge shows up
on my pajama top
A touch of Alzheimer's --
surely not.
Who is that old woman
in the mirror I see
And where in the world
did I put that key?
Oh - the joy of nipples
now down to my knee.
Everywhere you go,
must stop and pee.
The memory -- it comes
and it goes.
Nice high heels
now hurt my toes.
Offers to help with funeral expenses,
companies send in the mail.
Must try to outwith them,
maybe eat more kale.
But now, am still breathing,
laughing and glad.
So will just carry on,
no need to be sad.

-- Karin Bluemlein, 2014

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1 comment:

  1. We continue to have a bit of trouble with the comments section, something I am working on repairing. Here is a comment by email.

    From Xan in Australia:

    Oh she is wise. And hilarious. Those words are wonderful, thank you for sharing them, Rita and thanks also for posting my comment from your last post :-)


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