WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.


The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Friday, February 29, 2008

Going in Circles

Before we get started with the post, I have to share something with y’all. Apparently someone has taught my 82 year old grandmother about the joy and magic that is google. I don't know if she learned it while watching her daily dose of CNN, MSBNC and FOX news or if she has somehow heard this but now whenever she asks me a question about what happened to some famous person she has lost “contact” with, and I respond, "I don't know grandma." She says in her thick Southern drawl, "don't worry, you can google it for me." Lawd! Who has been teaching my grandmama new things?

Alright on to the post…

So one of my biggest fears is that I'm gonna be one of those old ladies you see in the grocery store, with her zipper three quarters of the way up her dress, her dingy beige bra (did it use to be white) exposed, looking like she tried with all her might to get it all the way zipped up and then said, "f-it, I got to make it to the store for the Senior Citizen Discount".

I mean if you're a young single woman who has lived alone, you know how hard it is to get the zipper up by yourself. You gotta bring it up a little ways with one hand, then reach your other hand over your shoulder to bring it up some more, then use the other hand to bring it up some, rinse and repeat until you get to the top. But imagine being a little old lady with no one to help you. Oh stick to buttons! And even then there's that whole misbuttoning thing that happens and we’ve all seen an old lady walking around with her dress all crooked.

But back to my fear, the fear of aging. I think a lot of people probably wonder what growing older will be like, but living with my parents and grandmother really gives me a visual aid of this whole getting older business. I mean seriously, if you came to the Rum Punch household, we got the Circle of Life thing happening: young, getting old and already old. Well, actually to have a true Circle of Life, we would probably need a child or baby to make it complete, but since Rum Punch ain't birthin no babies any time soon, we are an abridged version of the circle…

Watching my parents get older has been so many words: scary, challenging, fascinating, frightening, eye opening… Where did my father, the strongest man in the world who could lift anything go? Now, he asks me to pick up that heavy box and take it downstairs. What about my mother who was once the Queen of multi tasking? Now, she gets tired so easily and will be like, "I need a nap." We're not even gonna talk about my grandmother and her arthuritis, and how she knows it's gonna rain cause her right knee is hurting.

I really don't think anyone knows how to prepare for aging. We just know that it's coming because (God willing) it's inevitable. I mean some people exercise, eat right, blah, blah, blah so they can have a healthier life, but aging comes nonetheless. Eyes get weaker. Mid sections appear out of nowhere. Skin begins to wrinkle. Certain body parts take that trip down South. We lose agility and dexterity. Sometimes minds become feeble. We are prone to more illnesses. We get weaker, more dependent, and we can't do the things we used to. My mother says things to me like, "when I get older, I don’t want to be this way or that way…I promise I won't be a burden". And I think that is the biggest fear of them all, the wondering what will happen to you when you get older, who will take care of you, who will walk you up and down the stairs, who will take you to the store if you need it, who will help you balance your checkbook, who will make sure you take your medicine, who will hold your hand when your spouse passes after 50 years of marriage, who will take you in when you can no longer live alone. Who will, who will?

We don't have the answers. But I know that we wonder. I know that my mother thinks of how to make me and my brother's lives easier when she and my father get older, how they can prepare now for the inevitable, she wonders who will pass away first and if it's her, she doesn't think that my father will be able to cope. I know that now my grandmother talks more and more about when she goes to glory. And while no one knows the day or the hour, she thinks her time is coming before all of ours. And she seems to be getting ready for it.

So maybe it's not just a fear of aging that I have. Maybe it's having to deal with the reality of watching and then having to accept that my parents are aging. And knowing what that means for me, for my brother, for them, for us. Seeing it day in and day out, taking note of the subtle changes. And knowing that this is only the beginning. Living with the three of them is a constant reminder for me of what life is and is not. Of what it can and may not be. That it can happen so fast. That truly as corny as it sounds, it's about cherishing moments, making memories, finding joy in the seemingly small things. That it is measured in so many more things than what you do, what you make, where you live. It's about learning, loving, growing, changing, teaching, aging and eventually dying. The circle of, well you know the rest...

That's my time y'all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!


Amaretto said...

*wipes tear*

During the year I stayed with my grandparents as I did the grocery shopping, the prescription filling, checkbook balancing, the telephone dialing and the driving to church, the doctor and wherever else, I wondered…if I wasn’t here who would do this?

And being there as my grandfather died and now as my grandmother’s mind gets weaker it’s sad to witness the decline month after month. Natural part of life or not. It takes a village to both raise a child and care for the aging.

And as an only child it always stays in the back of my mind “What about me?” So I took out an insurance policy. I hit my little cousins up and made them promise me that they would take care of me when I was old. They laughed, but when I show up with my bags and boxes they’ll know I was serious. Shoot, D-E-P-E-N-D-A-N-T they’ll know what that means, man. My dress will be zipped. And if they gripe, I’ll be like remember that conversation we had back in 2004? Now feed me my pureed carrots.

Bellini said...

As the eldest of 4, I'm sure my siblings will look to me for guidance in how to assist our parents -- when the time & place comes (hopefully, not for some decades). on a sidenote-- I can't wait to see Lion King this summer

@Amaretto -- girl you are too funny!


Dark & Stormy said...

What in the world does Lion King have to do with this... Lol. TGIF!

Granny 'Retto, you are a fool. Too funny!

As an only child, I know that ultimately it will be up to me to make sure that my parents are taken care of when they are older & can no longer do it themselves. It truly is a scary thought sometimes.

I will do my best to give birth to or adopt at least two, so I can have more choices when my time comes to be wrinkled and dependant... Lol.

mint julep said...

although we don't all live in the same house when i visit with my family i really see these circles too. it's so weird to me that my niece, who is 6 calls my granmama, big-granma and my mama, granmama and to see how they interact with her compared to when i was little.

makes me wanna have some great-grans for my granmama and to take care of me....oh future husband, where art thou?

Mizzo said...

Hmmm did somebody say future husband?

Nah I was joking. Seriously ;) For real, I absolutely dig the writing here something ridiculous. You all make a brotha think with a conscious mind with every key stroke. Thank you so much. I've recently been linking to you in hopes others will find your talent. Keep doing what you do. It's all about Umoja when it comes to any of us at The Starting Five. Could one of you hit me up by email...Mike@MichaelTillery.com? Would love to interview you all.

Be Peace


braincell said...

never b afraid to become wise

Rum Punch said...

Pardon my delayed comments y'all...

@ Amaretto - You are too crazy! You already know that I choked on a carrot reading what you wrote about being fed pureed carrots.

@ Bellini - Yes, as the oldest (and being female) we are usually the ones who have to take charge and the lead. And it's funny you mentioned the Lion King because I was going to originally call this post, "Musafa says..."

@ Mint Julep - Girl, it's so crazy to watch the shifts. And don't worry bout your future husband, he's coming. Just work on you! LOL!

@ Mizzo - Thank you for the kind words and for putting our link out there. I think all of us here at the 5 appreciate it.

@ braincell - You make a good point, wisdom (hopefully) comes with getting older. And learning should never stop, you see my granny's still learning new things. That's the beauty of it all...