Reflections: Then and Now - Bronzed

By Gipp Forster

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My children want to have me bronzed!


They want to put me in the hallway so visitors can hang their coats on me in the winter, and ignore me in the summer. They want to polish me every now and then, and point to me as a conversation piece.


They haven’t actually said so or put it in those words, but I can see it in their eyes. They don’t want to let me go, but neither do they know what to do with me.


My wife just said she knows exactly what they mean. I don’t!


I may not have a lot of zip left, but that doesn’t mean I’m totally zipless. I can manoeuvre my walker in and out of tough places and, when I’m on my scooter, I can take a turn at breakneck speed. Well, maybe not breakneck, but pretty fast!


I’m tired of the cashiers at the supermarkets asking me if I need help carrying my groceries to my car. I don’t, unless, of course, the total weight of my purchases is over eight pounds.


I can still go to an action-packed movie and not fall off my seat. And I can still stuff my face with popcorn.

Though I no longer drive at night, I can still look up at the stars when they come out, and marvel.


I still remember to take my pills, as long as my wife reminds me, and I can zip up an escalator with the best of them.

No, sir, don’t count me out yet. I’m not a relic, nor am I antiquated. There’s still a lot of will in my power. A lot of zippity in my do-dah! (My wife just left the room, giggling.)


I prefer the term “seasoned” when counting years. “Mature,” “dignified,” “impressive” also come to mind. “Debonair” in a grey white sort of way.


I haven’t lost my swagger, although I don’t swagger as much as I used to, I threw my hip out a while back. I was swaggering a bit too hard, I guess.


I admit there are things I don’t and can’t do anymore that I foolishly took for granted. I used to enjoy sleeping in, but now I consider waking up at 8 a.m. sleeping in. It’s nice, at times, to rise with the sun in the summer and to bid farewell to the stars in the winter.


I can no longer stay up to the wee hours. I get sleepy early now. I can’t run anymore or climb trees or ladders. But I don’t have the desire to see what’s on the roof of my house or sit on a branch swinging my legs.

I used to like chocolate or strawberry ice cream, but now I prefer vanilla.


I do miss the simple things: walking for a distance, and running, and wrestling with my kids and my grandkids, and dancing and mowing the lawn. We take these tasks as our due when we are younger and never imagine that, one day, they might not be there anymore.


We are spoiled with good health and often don’t realize what we have until it’s gone. Much the pity!


But I repeat, I am not ready to be put out to pasture just yet. There’s still a lot of “varoom” left in this old motor, even though the tread is almost gone on the tires.


We who are older, and dare I say, old, are far from obsolete and certainly not relics left over from the 20th century. We are adventurers, explorers, guides; we have the scars and the memories to prove it.


Granted, we ration our energy now and, though it may take a little longer, we still get the job done. We’re a force to be reckoned with and we’re on the move!


Bronzed, indeed; we’re golden!

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