People may disagree about when we become old-old. But there is no doubt that the two women I talked with last week qualify.
Take my Aunt Ruth, for example. Going strong at ninety-nine, she lives on her own. Last month, she hosted (with some help) a cocktail party for twenty members of her extended family from across the country who were in town for a reunion. The next night she took them all out to dinner.
I called her last week to tell her that we are planning to go to Buffalo in the fall to see her, and she was thrilled. However, most of our conversation was not about our visit, but about the “sorry” state of the world. She had an opinion about everything, including Wimbledon (which she was watching when I called). I don’t have her genes, but I sure hope that if I make it to ninety-nine, I have her spunk.
I do have the genes of the other nonagenarian I chatted with last week, my half-sister Florence. She is almost ninety-five, but still has the same four New York City theatre subscriptions that she’s had for years, and a friend to go with. She has already been to Seattle once to visit her first great grandchild and has another trip there on her agenda.
It’s a long story, but Florence “found” me. We met for the first time when she was eighty-two, and I never thought we would have this much time to get to know each other. Her daughter (my half-niece) is closer to my age than Florence, and it’s been great to get to know her and her family also.
If I am lucky enough to live as long as Florence and Aunt Ruth, I want to be just like them. They may be old-old, but they are great-great.