Aging with Wild Courage

A post by my good friend Gail Crane:

I recently read the book “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. It’s about a young lady who felt she had lost everything after her mother died, her marriage failed,and her family all went their own way.

After dealing with all this loss by using drugs, she knew she needed to get her life together.

She impulsively decided to hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail alone, with no experience or training. She made it only with determination and perseverance.


This reminded me of aging—a journey we will all take with no experience or training.

It’s scary as we have no idea what this journey will encompass—good health or sickness, with or without loved ones or friends, with or without necessary financial means etc.

But whatever we face, we will do it with determination, perseverance, and courage!

Often our physical bodies become tired, sick, and achy from arthritis.

We may not be able to hear well or see well. I, myself, have developed several physical problems, one of which is Menieres, where I experience episodes of hearing loss and then dizziness with nausea and fatigue. The really scary part is that it often leads to deafness—a big fear of mine! It’s horrible while I’m going through it; however, I know it will last about five hours and then I will basically be back to normal.

And recently I have developed voice problems, which they say is essential tremor. It doesn’t hurt or anything, but makes my voice sound all quivery, and I get embarrassed to talk.

Unfortunately there is no treatment or cure for either of these ailments. So I carry on as I really don’t have any other choice.

Hopefully our journey will be made easier by the help of family and friends as well as caring, kind healthcare workers.

Or better yet, maybe we’ll be lucky and not suffer many of the problems the elderly face.

But whatever happens, we must persevere and determinedly keep on keepin on.!

As my 62 year old body is starting to show signs of old age, I try not to think of what may lie ahead but instead to focus on this minute, hour or day.

Little by little, and together, we will make it through.



Gail writes: I am a long-time friend of Barbara’s. Our kids grew up together and we have grown older together.  I am a big cat lover and have had as many as four all at one time.  But now I am down to my one pretty black cat, Myla.  She is 15 years old and we are comforting each other as we go down the aging path together.  I can’t imagine anyone better to accompany me on this journey than my sweet kitty.

Aging, Children, Grandchildren, Menopause

Am I Too Old? Part One: The Water Slide

Water Slide

Last week in Charolottesville, Daughter Kath and I took Mazen to the waterpark.

That baby splashed like he was training to be Michael Phelps.

We played “Motorboat, Motorboat” while Kath took a whirl down the slide.

“It’s a really fast, cool slide,” she said upon return. “You need to try it.”

I do?

First thought:  I’ll feel silly walking up the tall slide steps at my age.

Second thought:  I’ll twist my back or do some other you’re too old damage.

My daughter, as kids learn to do from about age two, noted my hesitation.

“You used to love water slides. Go!”

I looked at Kath.

I looked at Maze.

I looked at the slide.

In my forties, I rocked fast slides, impressing my kids and my husband, who don’t impress easily.

I took in the moment.

I could say, “Nope. Been there done that. Too old.”

After all, age has her privileges.

Or I could grab the gusto.

“Any techniques?” I asked  the lifeguard when I reached the top.

“Just stay flat,” he warned.

Going down a water slide, comes back to you, mostly because you don’t have any choice.

The slide is the boss.

But whoopee!

Kath was right.

What a great slide.


I hit the water with such force, I thought I would either drown or decide for sure I was too old.

But then I surfaced, feeling oh so proud of my decision.

Buzz and Maze

Maze and I are training to take on the waterparks of the world.

What about you?

Any decisions to go with the gusto of your youth lately?