I was driving down Gallatin Rd. yesterday during lunchtime. That is one busy road. It’s not exactly the kinda road one would want to purposely go out and stroll on, although that area has a lot of residents who have to either rely on public transportation or their own two feet to get around.
I have frequented that part of town a lot over the last 20 years. I lived off Gallatin Rd. for 5 1/2 years. I’ve seen all sortsa types of folks crossing that road. I’ve seen various shapes, sizes, colors, means of crossing, including a guy in a wheelchair with no legs more than once…I’d be scared to death to try to get from the Piccadilly side of Gallatin Rd. to Jenna’s Toybox, myself.
Anyway, I was driving down the road and I saw this older lady in one of those Hoveround things. I assume this lady is a resident of that Senior apartment complex there behind what used to be Col. Tom Parker’s office. She was probably at least 75-80 years old. She was fairly well dressed, had her coif nicely done (betchya she sleeps with toilet paper on her head between her Friday Hair Washin’s).
One look at the woman you could tell her health is probably not the best it’s ever been, but, considering her age, she’s not doing too bad. I would imagine her kids probably took her wheels away from her at some point and if she decides she wants to run over to the bank or to the Piccadilly or wherever, she has to rely on the transportation from the complex in which she lives or one of her children has to drive her around.
So, here was this lady, in her Hoverround, waiting to cross Gallatin Rd. My first thought was “What in the world is that woman doing out here on Gallatin Rd. trying to cross this ridiculously busy street in one of those things for? What is wrong with her??” I wondered if her children and grandchildren had any clue that Maw Maw was crossing Gallatin Rd., zig-zaggin in and out of traffic. I had a vision of my mother (who will be 74 in a couple of months) doing such a thing. My mother will barely leave her house in her own vehicle, much less a battery operated contraption like that.
As quick as I had that thought, the thought occurred to me that Hoveround Lady musta wanted to go somewhere and she decided that she wasn’t gonna let a silly little thing like not being able to drive stop her, no sirree. Where’s my wheels? Brang ’em here, I want some of that Carrot Souffle’ at the Piccadilly! I was suddenly in awe and admiration of this nameless woman for having lots of cajones.
The whole scene also made me think about the fact that the good Lawd willin’, I’m going to be that Senior-aged woman (shut up, Much Younger Friends who haven’t even crossed into 30 yet). I’m just stubborn enough that if I want something bad enough (not Carrot Souffle’ though) I will knock you down til I get whatever it is I’m after. I don’t like the idea of carpooling to work in a gas shortage because that messes with my independence. I sho nuff bet at that age, I will resent having to depend on somebody to haul me around.
It’s a scary thought, Old Age. It’s scary to me that the same turd who left a smart alecky comment on my blog post about him (I told him I would not mention him again on here since he was so offended. I removed his second comment ‘fo most of you had the chance to see it.)…that same kid, along with the help of the Drama Queen and #2 will someday be involved in major decisions about what old age home I will live out my days in.
Just in 2008 alone, I’ve gotten calls from my mother in the middle of the night, in the middle of my workday, and other times, have had to abandon what I’m doing to go across town to where she lives and deal with a situation. Hear me, I do not mind doing these things for my mother. Not one bit. This is the woman who gave birth to me, wiped my rear end (nevermind that I STILL remember the time she accidentally put toothpaste on my ass instead of Desitin for diaper rash. Yeah, I have a good memory but you’d remember that one too. Trust me, toothpaste on yer butt-ox doesn’t get rid of cavities.) Lord knows the sacrifices Barbara Jean has made on my behalf. I am quite thankful that I still have her around to do for (yes, I would be even more thankfuller if’n she’d move about 20 minutes closer!).
Do you ever think about your old age? Is there going to be money for me to live on? Are my boys going to marry awful women like the daughters in law in Driving Miss Daisy or A Trip To Bountiful? Will my daughters in law only allow me to hum my hymns when they aren’t around? I kid, but, ya know…stuff like seeing the old lady in the Hoveround on Gallatin Rd. makes me think about that sorta stuff.
All my life I’ve been taught how to die, but no one ever taught me how to grow old.
BILLY GRAHAM, Newsweek, Aug. 14, 2006