Life becomes a lot more complicated as we grow older. The things that were so easy in the past, become mountains to climb. Simple things like throwing a balled-up piece of paper into a trash basket one foot away, invariably winds up within an inch, but still on the floor. Con-sequently, there is a whole new challenge. Bending over is an impossible task, just like hitting the basket. Simple daily habits such as taking a cupful of pills, show just how slippery and contrary they can be, somehow landing on the carpet floor never to be seen again until you are minding your own business in another room and your bird eye spots a glistening object not even close to the medicine container. Here we go again. Stooping down. And whilst down, this time, you look around and spot a couple of white pills, along with a few yellow ones underneath your bed. You may as well forget them for another time. They aren’t mov-ing. And don’t even think about hitting that trash can in the kitchen with eggshells or paper towels or food. It ain’t gonna happen. Even if you’re standing right over it. I could go on and on about such.
Life in the fast lane becomes a daily opportunity for a comedy routine. My former neighbor and I had made a pact that we would be well suited to be roommates in the nursing home of our choice when we got old. We would definitely give the residents a good show just being ourselves. Kat is 95 and as sharp as a tack in her mind. She reads and keeps up with current affairs, uses her old desktop computer for writing a perfect letter, and plays scrabble every chance she gets. I always complimented Kat’s hair as it seemed to always be perfectly coiffed.
One day as I was bragging about her hair, she reached up and grabbed her hair, laughing, and said, “It’s a wig!” Bald as an onion! I was mortified! She dressed like a lady with good taste and class. We became dear friends and although she didn’t get out of her apartment often, I could count on her for an hour or so of good conversation and a few laughs.
One day, I popped over to see her with something I had made and knocked on her door. I waited a minute or so and yelled out, “Kat, it’s LaRose!” I began to open the door, and she hollered out, “Wait a minute till I get my hair on and my teeth in!” By then she was at the door, smiling big with teeth in place and wig slightly askew, but on her head. She hadn’t told me about the false teeth before. We had a grand visit!
Through the past few years, Kat began to lose some weight and didn’t go down to the dining room often, but we kept in touch, and she let me know she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was taking some chemo pills. She was very upbeat and had a positive outlook and actually finished the treatments about a year ago. But I still noticed a difference in her stamina.
Last week, I found out from another resident on her floor that she was moving on the week-end to a nursing home. I immediately went to her apartment for an update, and we had a good talk. She said she had decided it was time. She made her own decision and told her children. We hugged and promised to keep in touch and maybe when I got old, she would ask for me to be her roommate. I’m already missing this sweet, positive, and humorous lady called Kat. Such is life. Friendships are the flowers of life.