Old(er)

Axel is now 68 and one week. I used to think that 68 was ancient but now of course I think it is young. However, I am acutely aware that my father died when he was 69 and my mother became a widow at the age of 67. Now that we have arrived in that neighborhood it seems unthinkable that suddenly there would be The End.

When we are with others in our age cohort we cannot help talk about this or that ailment. We have become our parents, something we didn’t want, and laughed at, way back. But now of course we understand. Health is the most precious thing we have, to do what we most want to do. Maybe this is why youth is associated with impatience and old age with patience. We have to accept and do things slower than we used to do them. Except my older brother who seems to be in a reverse trend and at age 67 bikes from Holland to Finisterre in Basque land and then does some more with his son(s) to other destinations in Europe that take them out of the flatlands. I am impressed and humbled.

We celebrated Axel’s birthday last week for two days, the second at a Castle Hill picnic enlivened by a salsa band. We danced and ate and met friends. Then Tessa presented a birthday cake fit for a king or queen. She had made it with unmentionable amounts of butter and sugar. I knew that but Axel did not. He surely would have received some demerits from Weightwatchers if they had found out. I was told that when you know the ingredients of something it affects how you digest it. Empirical evidence showed this to be true – I felt like I had a brick in my stomach while Axel felt just fine – we had consumed the same amount.

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