The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
(You know, the movie where Brad Pitt is born as an old man and then grows to be a baby before he dies.)
By Kandy Chain
Woo-hoo! I just received my Medicare card. It feels like some sort of “right- of- passage”. Turning 65 comes with new roles and perks. Senior discounts are always a plus. Aging up to a new division is exciting – especially when I get a year reprieve from contending with Carolyn Nichol’s topspins and drop shots. The best, however, is joining the grandparent club. Who knew that conspiring with an 18 month old against his parents could be so delightful. The best part is when we’re tired of each other I can hand him back to his Mom and Dad.
Another new role I didn’t count on was becoming a Mother to my 96-year-old Mother. It’s not as fun as being a Grandparent but the duties and similarities have reminded me of Benjamin Button. They both wear diapers and they both cruise on furniture. Lincoln, my grandson, has a John Deere push tractor that he propels around the house and neighborhood – my Mom has a walker with tennis balls at its feet. I protectively walk by both their sides and hope to prevent a fall. Fortunately the little guy bounces right back up with an occasional bruise. My Mom has not been so lucky. She has had 3 major falls at various times – She has broken both her femurs at the hip joint and an upper arm. Each fall has landed her in a rehab center for weeks at a time. My grandson goes to Daycare – my Mom has a caregiver for most of the day.
Fortunately, my Mom and Grandson are both very sharp and have great acuity. They will fight and argue (Lincoln cries) for more freedom and independence. My Mom wants her bed rail down at night and wants
to take her own shower. My grandson wants to climb out of his crib and poke his own food with a fork. Safety first, but it’s great to see that no matter how young or old we are goals remain important and motivate us through life.
Baby Boomers still run the country and most of the Earth. I hope we enjoy our Medicare cards and other special perks. I, also, hope we can learn from our parents, “The Greatest Generation”, and realize the day will come when our “Millennial” children will be our protectors and enforcers.
Kandy is a retired P.E. teacher and tennis coach from the Los Angles School District. From March through August she coaches HS tennis and runs summer tennis camps in Livingston, Montana. In September, she travels back to Los Angeles to enjoy the milder temperatures and beach activities. Kandy works part time, half the year. She played the Houston Clay Courts and her next tournament will be the 65 Hard Courts in Palm Desert. "I've been doing a lot of rehab this past year with my physical therapist. Arthritis is rearing its ugly head. I had a good run at the Clay Court Nationals in Houston and want to keep it rolling as long as I can."