The year of turning 60

It’s finally dawning on me….this is the year I turn 60. Yes….60. It wasn’t that long ago (or so it seems) that I couldn’t have imagined reaching the age of 20 because it seemed like a lifetime away. I remember when my grandparents were 60. I remember when my parents were 60. My friends and I have often had the “We can’t believe we’ll be 60” discussion. It’s a little weird, because on one hand, while 60 may not sound so old…on the other hand, it’s like, uggh 60. So, here are some ponderings on turning 60.
I should have listened to my mother more and not easily dismissed certain things she would tell me about getting older. She was just trying to prepare me for becoming older, and I brushed it all off. For instance: As a woman becomes older, she will get whiskers. True. Keep your tweezers handy at all times. As a woman becomes older, she won’t need to shave her legs as often. True. You might think this is because the leg hair quits growing, but I have found that is not the case. It turns grey…just like the hair on top of your head. Oh, let’s touch on the grey hair. Sure, you might think it won’t happen, or you might just decide to color your hair. Well….at some point, you look in the mirror and realize you are going to look like a skunk if you keep coloring, as fast as that grey is coming in. Do yourselves a favor, and just let it turn grey…it’s a lot cheaper that way. Which leads me to more thoughts on the hair.
Mother said as a woman gets older, she should keep her hair shorter. It will make her look younger. True…the weight of the long hair pulls your wrinkles down. Oh, and don’t think wrinkles won’t happen…I already have my mother’s neck. But I also have her shoulders, which still look pretty young. Which leads me to skin.
Mother always told us girls to never use soap on our face. She said soap would dry up our skin and make it look older faster. Well, that was one thing we took to heart, and all of us girls have really nice skin. (Sometimes, it pays off to listen to your mother.)
Weight….yes, weight gain happens. The metabolism changes in the body. You have to work harder to keep your weight down…as it just seems to come out of nowhere. Good gravy, this is the biggest I’ve ever been, with the exception of being 40 weeks pregnant carrying a 10 lb baby. Mother would always do what she called hip rolls at night…every night she would do these hip rolls before she went to bed…they kept her arse from getting wide she said. Guess what I’m going to start doing? Yup…should have listened to mother.
Aches and pains…yup…got those. My knees sometimes get stuck. My hips go out more than I do.
Teeth…I still have most of my teeth. My folks had dentures for as long as I can remember, and while they did some pretty cool stuff with those false teeth, I would really prefer to keep mine. I have a terrible dental phobia….I’d rather give birth to triplets with no medication. Which reminds me of the fact that there’s a reason we have children when we are younger. My almost 60 year old body could not take that…nor would I have the patience or the energy to be chasing around tiny tots all day long at this age. I’d be like a zombie….although…I find zombies very cool. Hmmmm.
But on a more serious note….there is one thing that just hangs in the back of my mind. I’m really healthy….aside from glaucoma and a thyroid problem, a numb hand and the occasional aches and pains that “are part of this age” (as my doctor says). But…there’s one thing. I’m turning 60….my mother was 60 once. She died at 67. I wish she were still around to tell me more stuff about when a woman gets older. Maybe I’d not dismiss it as easily.
The year of turning 60. I hope we all deal with it gracefully and well. Because not so long ago…we couldn’t imagine being this age.
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July 17th….a bittersweet day.

23 years ago, I rode to the hospital on an ambulance (my very first ambulance ride). You see, I was in labor, and much to everyone’s surprise (but not mine)…I almost had my 3rd child at home on the toilet. (Because the hospital didn’t believe I was in labor earlier). The ambulance left my house at 02:15 on July 17th 1992. I asked the paramedic “You ever delivered a baby before?”…he said “No, but I saw my partner do it once.”….I said “Oh, that’s just feckin’ great.” I hee hee hee hoo’d all the way, not stopping for any red lights. We got to the hospital at 02:25, and I had to direct the paramedic to the mother baby unit (Seems he’d never been there either). They called the dr, who got there just in time to put on his catcher’s mit at 02:43 am to catch a 10 lb baby girl as she swiftly made her arrival. The staff was running around like chickens with their heads cut off (Which I told them they would be doing when they sent me home earlier) I’ll never forget it….and to all the staff who sent me home 23 years ago saying “Oh, you’re not in labor yet”…well, I can only say this…”I feckin told ya so!” I named her Emily, which means industrious one. That is oh so true.  She was, and is, a beautifully busy girl. And people do like you when you are 23….

14 years ago, July 17th, 2001…I got a call that every child dreads. “This is your dad, and I have the paramedics here giving your mother CPR”….that call plays over and over in my head. She just dropped dead that day, on my daughter’s 9th birthday. The very next day, I had the family over for a very happy birthday party….that is what my mom would have wanted. The last time I heard my mother’s voice was on my answering machine when I got home after she passed. “Kelly, this is your mother, call me when you get home.” We had been on vacation and she called before we got back. This was before the days of commonplace cell phones. I happened to come home early from vacation…I wanted to be home by 2:30 pm. I walked in the door at 2:15 pm and within 2 minutes came that dreaded phone call from my dad. Don’t let the last time you hear your mother’s voice be on an answering machine, or a voice mail…..If she calls, and you are around answer it….because gosh, you just never know when will be the last time you talk to her.

Mother’s Day 1959

May 10th, 1959…mother’s day.  A beautiful young wife (from Ireland) and her movie star handsome American husband were ready to welcome their first born into the world.  At about 5:30 am (or so the story goes), this beautiful young wife became a mother for the first time to a bouncing 9 lb baby girl.  The story is also told that this baby girl was born already lifting up her head because she was about a month overdue.  The doctor said, “Well, Josephine, say hello to your month old newborn.” They named her Kelly (after her grandmother O’Kelly in Ireland).  The rest is history.  This year, her birthday falls on Mother’s Day yet again, and I have to say it makes her a little sad.

Happy mother’s day mom from your very first Mother’s Day present.  I surely do miss you.  “I love you forever, I like you for always, as long as I’m living, my mommy you’ll be.” mom2a

The birth of Hurricane Emily

It stormed the night of July 16th, 1992. The road on our block flooded….flooded so bad, the neighbors actually called someplace to come blow open the drains. It was during that storm that my youngest decided to make her appearance…and in a hurry! After almost being born on the toilet, a ride on the ambulance with a paramedic that never delivered a baby before, a race to the delivery room (and a lot of hee hee hee hoo-ing), this beautiful 10 lb bundle who was so intent on arriving during the storm, was born at 02:43 am on July 17th, 1992 (a mere 15 minutes after I arrived there). Storm or no storm, she wanted out and NOW! A year later, they named a hurricane after her. Happy Birthday Emily.