Thursday, August 16, 2012

Things I Learned From a Couple of 85 yr olds

I probably won't be riding a bike.

When writing about my recent trip back home to Verona, it would be remiss of me to not mention my stay at the hospital for bronchial pneumonia. Along with the high fever and chills, 
I got to share a room with some delightful old ladies in beautiful linen nightgowns. Kind of like the movie Ladies in Lavender only in Italian and without Judy Dench. The meals were great but was it a highlight? Not really. Was it enlightening? Definitely. 
This is just a taste of what I learned about old age by spending a week with octogenarians:

1. You may not get there with your own teeth.
2. You can never have enough tissues.
3. You will probably be wearing a sweater even if it's 100-degrees.
4. You will be drinking a lot of soup.
5. A draft from the window is dangerous.
6. You can never say the words: "We're old, now," enough.

As I wrote out a semi-serious bucket list the night I could not sleep a wink ("eat all the chips dipped in Greek Style yoghurt I want," really?) the gist of what I was feeling was get out there and do everything you want to do. See everything you want to see. Right now. 
I could end this post by quoting Dylan Thomas: "Do not go gentle into that good night," but I prefer leaving you with the question my great aunt Milly used to ask, when looking in the mirror: "Jennifer, how come I look so much older than I feel?"


  1. Funny but bittersweet- want to hear your bucket list!

    1. Thanks-I guess that will have to be for a future post!

  2. Bronchial pneumonia? Sounds pretty are you now. Hope you are feeling better.

  3. Thanks, first my six year old got it and then I got it-not the best summer break! Feeling much better, thank, but still a bit drained of energy.

  4. I stumbled across your blog and enjoy it! I just finished writing a letter to my dear friend--an 83-year old from Barcelona (where I once lived). She became my role model for what I hope I will be at her age. She takes Arabic to exercise her brain, martial arts to work out her body, and eats lunch every day at a new and exotic place. After I got to know her, out 40-year age difference didn't matter because she is young at heart and open. You're never to old to learn even if you do it in a sweater! Glad you are feeling better!

    1. Thanks so much-nice to hear! Your friend sounds like a true inspiration! All the best, J