Page 7 - Scene Magazine 42-02 February 2017
P. 7

The Way I’ve Scene It
BY DENISE POYER
Sometime just before I turned 50, the AARP be- gan sending me membership pleas. When the Octo- ber calendar page was torn away that year, I reached that
magical age of eligibility allowing me to buy my way to fabulous discounts. I had become a junior-junior senior citizen – older but still young enough to cause an eye roll among the 62 and older set, who know good and well that 50 is one of life’s sweet spots.
With the turn of another 66 calendar pages, The Husband and I ended last sum- mer with a little golf scramble with four of our friends. When we stepped into the club- house to pay our cart and greens fees, the little darling little behind the counter asked if any of us would be getting a senior dis- count. “NO!” we said collectively followed by, “How old do we have to be to get that?” The darling answered, “55.” We looked at each other. “He is!” someone shouted, pointing to The Husband, who quickly shot back, “So are YOU,” pointing at me!
Like dominoes falling in slow motion, we each assessed our ages, and when the howling laughter settled into giggles, we realized that even the youngest of us qual- ified for the senior discount. It was sort of exciting... at first. Then it became a weird little moment frozen in time – the one when I became aware of my years and the speed of life – that more time lies be- hind me than in front of me. It never had occurred to me that this moment would arrive while I was so young! Even though my behavior tends to honor my much younger inner self, I am officially a ju- nior-senior citizen. It is the middle of the sweet spot. Let the trumpets sound, and let me be smart enough to use it wisely.
A year ago, when my dad was wind- ing his way to life’s end, he needed a lot of help. We siblings did all of his chores, shopping, laundry, dog walking, and bill paying. We did these things when we did not have time, when we were tired and when we did not feel like it. We did them when our own chores sat waiting.
I cooked every one of his meals for his last few years. I hauled him to
A Junior-Senior Citizen
appointments, helped him shower and to test my mettle, tended to his neglected feet. There was no way he had the dex- terity to do it himself. He knew it and so did I. It took every ounce of his energy to do shower night. Because my show is a walk-in, we did that at my house. With the hum of the added space heater in the background (him still freezing and me melting,) he stood on wobbly legs with a death grip on the grab bar that was suc- tioned to the shower wall, and between us, we got the job done.
Finally dressed and warm, he would brace himself against the sink, and with a black Ace comb clutched tightly in the bent up fingers of a once steady hand, he would carefully slice a part into hair that would forever have more pepper than salt. With a slow shuffle, he would emerge, feeling like a human again, and make his way to the living room to enjoy a much deserved cold beer while he caught his labored breath.
Shower nights were special, because they afforded him time to feel renewed and cared for and gave him precious time to socialize. In turn, I was afforded a glimpse of his tough resolve to adapt to his diminished strength and dexterity, of his humor and of his appreciation – which was always there but not always spoken. Those nights, we spouted off about poli- tics, bragged about our dogs, played arm chair Jeopardy! and talked.
Thank goodness for the sweet spot. It let me harness energy I didn’t think I had and find time that didn’t exist. It cleared the way for me to tend to the needs of the precious senior citizen right in front of me. So, enjoy your time as junior-senior citizens, my friends, and use it wisely by not hoarding it all to yourself but sharing the fruits of it with others. Oh, and be sure to get in a round of golf here and there. The $3 savings is funny until you realize that it pretty well covers that first beer, and then it’s just plain fun!
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