Somehow, I love getting older!
With both a birthday and a pension coming up, it’s exciting to still be able to look down on the daisies!
Long ago, scrolling through birth years to find my own didn’t take long. But now it does, even on timesaving devices!
So, who’s getting old? With my eldest daughter brewing a baby, it occurred to me that no one ages any faster than anyone else.
New baby, you will age one day at a time, and so will I. That’s a relief, though I’m sure it’s just my wrinkles talking!
After that discovery I went looking for my childhood, and to my horror couldn’t find it.
Well, perhaps it wasn’t completely gone, but who wants to live in antiquity? Thankfully, most uncertainties of my teens and early 20s are missing. And some other things have disappeared too.
Of course my definition of beauty has changed, though perhaps that is self-defense more than anything. Real loveliness is no longer bone structure or youthful skin. It’s more about integrity, purpose, courtesy and character. But older doesn’t necessarily come with ‘wiser.’
Older arrives easily, while wiser needs regular refills and clear vision, and right now I can’t find my glasses!
With your permission, I shall be elderly for a moment — and reminisce at your expense. Life began to scroll for me in the 40s. In the 50s our family’s plans pivoted to work with the needy in Africa. In the 60s we got caught in the Congo Rebellion, eventually fleeing the country to the percussion of bullets piercing our car. In the 70s I suddenly realized a person could quit school, but it was too late — I was partly educated by then, thanks to my parents. Marriage occupied the 80s, along with a teeming freeway of children of various hues and origins.
In the 90s, our family moved to Williams Lake. That’s where I scroll now.
But looking back, something sticks in my throat. It occurs to me that I cannot resurrect as many memories of helping others as I can for helping myself. I remind myself of a faded baby book. Temperance pledges signed but forgotten.
Poems memorized but not lived. Learning a language then using it lovelessly. Living selfishly. Except for once.
All our clothing in Africa came from Montgomery Wards, and was ordered six months ahead — an expensive matter on a $200-a-month salary.
Perhaps that was why my mother hugged me and cried when I returned home naked one day, having given all my clothes away. Yet neither of us was sorry.
Today, trying to scroll down on my computer scrolls it up. But life doesn’t offer me that option.
Long ago the Congo was a great place to grow up, a place to deliver little black babies while I was still a single-digit-aged babe myself. But there remain plenty of needs — right here, and happily I still have some time left to scroll.
Rita Corbett is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Advisor.