My sister and I grew up surrounded by our paternal and maternal grandparents- quite a privilege. While we were close to them all, Ama (my maternal grandmother) has lived with my parents and me for the past few years. This has allowed me a real close-up look at what it is like to live into the “golden years”. Although Ama may not be feeling too golden at the moment, she has outlived her 3 brothers and 2 of her sisters. Her eldest sister, Aunt Cynthia is 98 and still going pretty strong.
Up until recently- when one of her younger sisters (Aunt Norma) passed and she began to suffer particularly ill-health- Ama enjoyed frequent phone calls with her sisters. They would exchange information about: the latest tennis tournament and the players’ personal lives; TV shows (they all followed) and their respective actors (and their personal lives); family gossip; their latest aches and pains; their grandchildren and much more I’m sure.
I conducted an interview with Ama yesterday in partial-celebration of her 90th birthday which is today: November 27, 2014. Here are the questions and her answers:
What thoughts have pervaded your mind most over the last 3-4 months?
- Thoughts of pain (physical, due to the sore) and disability
What concerns you most about the future? Short-term and Long-term
- Short-term: pain
- Long-term: I am disabled and although while there’s life there’s hope, I can’t see how I will get any better and it’s very distressing
What do you miss most since the partial-paralysis?
- Reading (Ama got a Kindle for her birthday so we have high hopes for her reading again soon) and watching TV
How did you envision your life being at 90?
- Active…as active as I was at 80.
What is your biggest fear?
- Not sure
How do you feel about having lived ‘til 90?
- Blessed by God. Many haven’t made it (including Norma)
What are you looking forward to?
- Seeing Cynthia and others on Saturday (at my birthday party)
What do you want friends and family to know today?
- I appreciate your thoughts and good wishes at this milestone. I am sorry I can’t hear well enough to talk with you on the phone. Thank you for taking the time to write to me; I love you and wish you all the very best.