A friend asked recently which term I preferred: senior or elderly.
A bit taken aback, I wanted to say “why are you asking me that question?” Then, I realized she was serious and she was being kind about asking.
First, I realize to some people I fit in both categories, but I’m not one of those people.
Some folks look forward to becoming a senior or elderly. I’m not one of those people.
My parents were as different in their views about age as day and night. My mother was old from a young age, while I don’t remember dad talking about getting old.
I recall two incidents in life which helped me form my own opinions. When I was a senior in high school my grandfather died — he was 94. I remember when family members convinced him to give up his small farm with his chickens and garden and move in with one of his children. He didn’t live long after giving up the things that created a reason for him to get up and moving daily.
A few years later my mother was dealing with a serious health issue. She was being treated at a teaching hospital in the south. She had some of the best medical treatment and care. One of the young doctor’s suggested, “Ms. Lottie could benefit from some psychological therapy, but at her age I know she would not be receptive to the idea.”
He might have been right, but I decided at that moment I’m not one of those people.
My younger friend asking the elderly-senior question wasn’t the first time this year I’ve had to deal with the age question. My family and I had to prove to doctors at a fine teaching hospital north of here, just because of the numbers on my paperwork, I was not one of those people. To me, age is a state of mind, not the numbers on a piece of paper. I want to fill each day being productive, creative, helping others and learning new things.
Don’t sum me up using the terms senior or elderly. I’m not one of those people. When I am, I’ll let you know,