I am spending the week with my dear friend Dorothy who is 95 years old. She still lives in her own apartment, does her all own cooking and laundry, and is the most positive person I know. I wish anyone who has questions about what a positive attitude looks like could spend an afternoon with her.
Dorothy is a slight, carefully groomed, determined lady who just gave up driving two years ago. As she puts it, “I was still comfortable driving but I could not walk when I got where I was going.” She does not love her walker with wheels, but as usual has a positive take. “Actually, the tray I have put on top is a great way to carry things I need around my apartment.”
Dorothy has always been a presence in my life; in fact she has known me since the day I was born. Her parents and my grandparents were friends during her childhood in Western Kentucky where she and my father and his twin sister were close growing up. When she and her husband and my parents were young couples starting out in Lexington KY, they bought lots next to each other and made a joint driveway so we were extended family.
When I was little Dorothy was a source of security because she was raised on a farm and was not afraid of anything. Our subdivision had recently been farmland and there was plenty of “wildlife” still in residence. My mother sat me down as a three year old and told me “If you see a snake, run get Dorothy.” I did that more than once.
Whenever I was home for a visit through the years, we would update each other on all births, graduations, weddings, etc. We have comforted each other through life’s losses. In later years when my mother was in a nursing home and I was at a distance, Dorothy visited her almost every day between my visits.
I will always value our special bond. She is a life long horse lover and a huge fan and supporter of the Quincy the Horse Books. She has purchased each one for her church library when they were released and cheers me on when a new one is in the works. I call often, especially when she has a challenge like a broken hip several years ago. She is an incredible role model at this stage of life. Whenever I feel afraid about the knowns or unknowns of aging, I just picture her and I get that old secure feeling.