Most times, I have this movie-silly vision of me wearing an apron like Grandma always seemed to, sitting on the porch or standing at the fence or in the kitchen making something wonderfully memorably fabulous. That, I think, is my ideal future.
Until I stop and remember who I really am. So yes, there will be kitchen moments and some pretty good food.
But there will also be travel – lots of travel – to places new to me, to experiences not yet had. And there will be evidence of children in my life in the left-behind blow bubbles and chalk drawings on the sidewalk.
And there will be protests. I will not go gentle in to that good night – not because I fear dying, but because there is so much yet to be said to the living about how we could all do it a bit better and somehow, I persist in thinking that I need to say it whether you wish to hear it or not – yes, I will be that old lady – the one who always has advice that you never quite know how to respond to because I am your elder and it would be rude to say what you’re thinking (although that is what I would much prefer you do rather than that nice, vague, dismissing thing).
I will write letters to the editor.
I will say even more of what I think.
I will sing with gusto (if not talent).
I will know my limits and not mind them at all, old friends that we are.
I will dance alone and with others.
I will wear brighter colors and keep coloring my hair because I like it that way, knowing full well that I am not fooling anyone, even myself.
I will, I hope, be grace-filled and patient with and interested in the young.
I will share my stories and look at your pictures if you’ll share and look at mine.
I will have fabulous dinner parties.
I will risk more.
When they come for the boys, I will offer that they send me.
I will be generous and give away as much as I can before I actually leave this verge.
And I will definitely use the good china, unless I give it to the kids first.
This, then, is my old-age manifesto.
I’m not so young anymore, so I think I’d better get busy. Think I’ll start with the china – followed by a letter to the editor – I’ve got some thoughts on the news of the day and after all, they need sharing, for what is the point of all this wisdom if I do not share it?