Age is funny

Creaking bones. Memory loss. Dietary changes. These are normal things that happen with age. Things you either hear people complain about or doctors warn about. Liver spots. Wrinkles and gray hair. Flax seed. Gravity. Lots of things happen, but I never expected Chicken-shit to be on that list. And since I don’t have ninety percent of the regular symptoms, I didn’t think I was actually old yet. I’m still in denial. But apparently I’m starting to age, as Chicken-shit has reared its ugly head in my repertoire.

This is my lighthouse. You’ve heard me mention my love of water, this goes with it. I grew up on that big bitch of a lake [Superior] and loved being at the point and on/near this lighthouse. I dove from its ledges. I climbed its forbidden ladders. I greeted many a sunset from the crow’s nest. I watched fireworks across the bay from there. Hell, I even had sex out there. And to do any of that, I had to cross those rocks.

No problem.

I scrambled across them. I walked across them. I ran across them. Footing sure, mentality immortal. I was young! Nothing could touch me.

Before I left Wisconsin, I went out to the point one last time. I let the lake lick my ankles. I picked rocks. I watched my kids in the surf and introduced a Hippie to my water. And I pointed out my lighthouse with a smile. A thousand fond memories ran through my mind. My heart skipped a beat and held my youth with a prolonged inhale of fresh Superior air. But when the kids suggested we go out there I learned I was old.

“Oh no. No, no, no. You don’t want to do that. Do you see those rocks? They’re uneven and sharp and if you fall you can break something or worse, hit the water and the undertow there.”

And inside me something cracked. A tiny voice cried a little. My feet wanted to run across those boulders one more time. My hands wanted to grip those ladders in one more victory over the forbidden. But my brain said no. I argued with myself—I’m older, my balance, if anything, is better. But the old woman inside was having nothing to do with the logic.

Now, I could accept this and hold my memories tight and move on. But I really suck at being told not to do something, even when the orders come internally, and especially when I’ve done it before and know that I can do it. So I don’t think I’ll be accepting this. No. The more I think about it, the more I believe I’ve been challenged by old age and I’m not ready to give in to that without a fight.

The next time we’re in Wisconsin for a visit, those rocks are mine. That lighthouse will know my touch again. And if it’s warm enough out, those waters will yield to me sluicing through them as I jump from that ledge one last time… before my walker gets shipped from Amazon.

0 Responses to Age is funny

  • Tim Baker says:

    Great observation… tower.

  • Qweequeg says:

    Awww, yeah. I feel you… I’m dealing with a few lighthouses of my own. Well, truth be told, I am not dealing with them, but I need to… soon. The lines that got to me the most: “And inside me something cracked. A tiny voice cried a little.” Great post! Thank you, Kelli.

  • Monrozombi says:

    you can bring a hippie to water but you can’t make him wet…*ducks and runs* j/k. getting old sucks, i love the knowledge but not the passage of time

  • Kevin Lucia says:

    Every year, my “young test” was multiple trips down the “Superman Ride” at the SIx Flags near us.

    I failed it the summer I met my wife. We were riding up it together, and as it hit the top – and looked over at the wonderful woman I’d just gotten engaged to, (some 208 feet in the sky) – I thought to myself….

    “What the hell am I doing?”

    Haven’t been on roller coasters since.

    Welcome to old. ;) It’s not so bad.

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