Old Age Isn’t For Sissies

By on 6 July, 2012 in Sandra Nickel with 0 Comments

“Old age ain’t for sissies” was one of my late mother’s very favorite expressions.  As the years took a toll on her once model-perfect figure and face, she lamented — but not for long — what was past.  And then she just moved on!

About 5 weeks ago her words, even the sound of her muttering them, rang in my head as I learned that her very best friend (a Midtown Montgomery resident) had fallen and broken her hip.  This at 98, to be be 99 in October and still living independently in her own home, mind you, and almost totally blind as well!

Elida had successful surgery and was shortly transferred to Rehab First, a near-Midtown division of Capitol Hill Health Care on South Hull just north of I85.  There, she’s had some huge ups and downs. Depending upon the day, she can be perky or disoriented. Many days she has eaten only a bite or two at each meal.

But yesterday was a triumph! Elida and Pi (pet name for my mother) used to go to Krystal on Fridays when out shopping.  There they enjoyed chili pups with cheese. Chili pups were my mother’s favorite “guilty pleasure.” In fact, a chili pup was the last food she ate as she lay dying from cancer 15 years ago.

Would Elida eat a chili pup, I wondered? In one of her good moments this past Monday night, I asked her about that and she lit up like a Christmas tree. “Would she?  You bet!”

So yesterday I drove down to the Krystal on Norman Bridge Road, also on the edge of Midtown, and ordered same. From there, I went straight to the rehab hospital where Elida devoured not only a whole chili pup but a sliced tomato home-grown in the garden of a friend in Forest Hills.

It was the biggest meal she’d eaten in at least 3 weeks.  And when it was over, she had chili on herself and her clothing but she was smiling like a Cheshire cat!

I spent a good part of yesterday with Elida, then enjoyed ribs and fixin’s at the home of a Montgomery resident who had bought an incredibly renovated home in Brentwood. It was like a Midtown “reunion”:  an architect and wife who office in the Garden District; a couple in McGehee Place, and a woman very active in the homeowners’ association in the South Hull District.  Love Midtowners!

Unfortunately, my achy creaky back caused me to bid an early adieu and take to my bed with an icepack. And that’s why my post is a day late.

As Mama said, “Old age ain’t for sissies!”

Sandra Nickel has been listing and selling residential real estate for over 29 years, most with an intense focus on Montgomery’s Midtown neighborhoods. Sandra serves on the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless, the Cloverdale Business Coalition, Historic Southview, the Volunteer and Information Center, Landmarks Foundation and her own neighborhood Garden District Preservation Association.

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