Wednesday's Words, by Morgan Asbury

Did I mention that my daughter is a PSW? That stands for Personal Support Worker, or, in the lingo of my younger days, and what I believe they are call in the States, a `nurse's aide'. During the fifteen months that she lived with us after the dissolution of her marriage, she attended college to train for this career. I think it's one of the best decisions she's ever made, as she truly enjoys her work.
She's been a blessing to me, she really has, but now that she's a professional, she tends to see the world—including her mother—through a work-related lens.
My daughter works primarily in the community, calling on the ill, the palliative, but mostly the elderly. She performs myriad tasks to help these people. She bathes them, dresses them, and even does some minor housekeeping for them. She takes good care of her clients, the bulk of who are female, even to the point that she gets them small gifts at Christmas. She refers to them, en masse as her "old ladies".
Do you have a clue about my `but' yet?
I'm 57 years old. All right, 57 and 9/12th years old. I suppose in some ways, I remind my daughter of some of her clients. I walk with a cane. Because I do have arthritis, some days are definitely worse than others, and I move very slowly on those days.
But...I am not an old lady.
Middle age is a time of flux. Things do begin to change, as our bodies age and our minds try to adjust to the next level of volume, to accommodate all the accumulated knowledge we have amassed over our lifetimes (do you like that explanation for intermittent forgetfulness? Feel free to use it, no charge, my gift to you!)
But...I am not an old lady.
My daughter really has been a blessing to me, especially lately as she chauffeurs her father in the morning so I don't have to endure interrupted sleep. She comes once a week to lend a hand with my housework, and just this past Sunday, she came over and set up my new computer, and made the transition seamless for me.
But...I am not an old lady.
We spend a fair amount of time together, and she goes with me sometimes when I head to the mall, or just out and about. And she is ever helpful. She is proactive! There are dozens of small ways she wants to help me, because, "this is what my old ladies like," or, "this is how my old ladies do things."
I'm learning not to mention any small complaint or change in the way things are for me, because my daughter's eyes light up and she nods, and proclaims that I am...just like her old ladies.
I recall a television show a few decades ago, "The Golden Girls". The oldest of them, "Sophia" used to get away with totally outrageous behaviour, explained by the fact that she'd had a mini stroke which destroyed that part of her brain wherein discretion lives.
Now, I'm not wishing for anything like that, but I am waiting for the day when my daughter comes by and tells me about her new feisty, cane-wielding client, and how she has to be ever so sweet to her, and careful of what she says or else....
Because on that day, I plan to become just like one of her old ladies.


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