Aging Model

March 13, 2020.  Today the governor declared Texas a disaster area.  (No doubt others before have deemed Texas a disaster in some vein … this official designation stems from COVID-19 … health and economic issues.)  We are headed into Spring Break, so my teacher husband will be off work next week; likely the week after that; unknown how long the panic and the virus causing the panic will prevail.  I fit into an age bracket considered more vulnerable to this invasive virus, though I do not feel old (apart from several joints that ache). Difficult to believe this virus could feel any worse than my severe reaction to Shingrix back in November! Anticipating my 2nd Shingrix coming in April, I choose to remain optimistic that I will make it through that and this disaster.  I expect to be reflecting a year from now on lessons learned while moving blindly, unsure what I’ll bump into next (shelves empty of essentials … canceled events counted on … local businesses shutting down) yet comforted by others sharing this not-knowing.

Last August, I sat for several days with an old lady named Bella.  Bella is blind.  Bella is quite old for a cat.  Bella keeps purring.  Bella taught me a thing or two.  This poem, written with Bella, was subsequently accepted for the 18th annual Story Circle Network anthology: Real Women Write: Growing / Older, Susan Schoch, Editor —   https://www.amazon.com/dp/0979532957 — paperback & e-book

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20 thoughts on “Aging Model

  1. I really love the poem about Bella, Jazz! Congratulations on being in the anthology! Same disaster declaration in my state today, spring break extended, then remote learning via computer after that. Stay safe.

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    1. Thank you! Safety first, yes. Our Spring Break plans are camping at a State Park a ways off from the city … unless they close the park in the next 48 hours, we’ll go … with caution every encounter along the way. After that, I anticipate many days of reading and jigsaw puzzles and pulling weeds in the yard. All with purring nearby.

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  2. Hi Jazz, Your sweet kitty poem is wise and comforting to me during our current uncertainty. Congrats on the poem being in the anthology! Have a wonderful state park trip. Last I heard, they were still open. We need out outdoors time especially now.

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    1. Betty, thank you … Bella lets out a yowl when she gets turned around and temporarily lost … then finds her way back to known surfaces and snuggles into a good purr. I think a lot of people are in the uncomfortable “temporarily lost” state right now – yowling. Hopefully, we’ll settle into our quarantines and social distancing and resummon our purrs.

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  3. Congratulations! Yes, this is an unsettled time–my husband’s college is closed and the schools around us in PA and NJ are closing or considering closing.
    I suppose we can learn from Bella–our old lady cat was feisty until she wasn’t–but I really don’t want to be the way my mom is now, nearly blind and with some dementia.

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    1. Merril, thank you – I second not wanting to live beyond a level of independence that lets me stay in my house w/o encumbering my kids, husband, etc. Your mother is blessed to have you close to visit, take her on outings. Hard for me to envision my kids in that role – hard perhaps because I so do not want to envision thus.

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  4. What a wonderful poem, Jazz. As we age sometimes we only see the loss. I appreciate the reminder that we do gain as well. Take care of that sweet kitty. We had a cat that lost her sight and use of her legs and for her last months we just carried her around with us.

    We are living in uncertainty here in MI, too. All K-12 schools are closed for three weeks. Our church is closed as are many others. My writers group and my art class have been cancelled until further notice. I had been quite busy lately and now I will have the time for no meetings, no driving, to stay at home and write and paint and cook. Unfortunately, others are not so fortunate and will go without their hourly wages or free lunches at school. I wanted to volunteer at a local shelter but they would not accept me because i am over 60 and had been out of the country in January.

    Stay well, dear friend.

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  5. LuAnne, thank you.
    We do not know yet what the local schools will do but anticipate a much longer than usual Spring break … Austin has put restrictions on meetings of 250 or more up till Ma1 … if the schools follow that lead Gary and I will get a LOT of yardwork done!! For this 1st week we are camping … ahhhhh …

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    1. Louise, thank you … I’ve just spent my morning massaging the writing from yesterday’s session … I felt at-home with all present, grateful for the gift of poetry (from masters, from peers, from my own heart). Bella the cat is older than me in equivalent years and I take heed of her continuing example: one day at a time, one foot in front of the other, turn when you hit a wall …

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