In November I will be 90. This is a busy time for me. This summer and fall have been a time of funerals. Eight in the past four months. They all follow the same pattern, An M.C., religious or not, calls speakers to the podium -- spouse, children, grandchildren, a few friends. I check the crowd, speculate on how mine will compare.
Eighty-nine is not an age you would choose. Too close to the precipice. Yet, on this sunny day in June, I am grateful for the pleasures that lie before me. I have nothing scheduled today. No lunch date, no meetings, no doctors. Iris is playing bridge; I am alone; job and young children belong to bygone times.
Confession ... for a good part of my life I believed 'older' people lived on a different emotional plane, an asexual planet devoid of desire. It didn't seem possible that someone in the midst of their golden years could experience all those tingly feelings that come from the infatuation of a new love.
Sometimes I think when we exchange those little glances and giggles about our dear old loved ones -- even when they show us glimpses of brilliance -- the joke is really on us. Maybe when we reach the age of "old," in between the crazy babbling and the far-off stares, we know exactly what we're doing, and what we're teaching.