I've been thinking a lot about growing old lately. It's something that's never really bothered me before, but seeing H so sick and frail this past week focused my mind of some unthinkable thoughts.
Yesterday, as H was working slowly through his day, he kept coming inside to rest. He sat in a lounge chair and almost immediately, was asleep. He did that four times. I told him not to overdo it but he insisted he was ok and felt better doing something.
It made me think of how we both used to work hard when we were a bit younger and it never affected us. H used to be really strong and took pride in being able to work on most projects alone, but was always ready to help others along side him not as strong. We've both lost a lot of our strength in recent years and when I saw H so sick, I realised it's not just physical strength that's been lost.
It's a strange thing growing older when you get past about 55. Until then I still felt I was as strong and capable as I had ever been, and then in a really short time, I felt much weaker. H has also become weaker in the past few years. He has tried to keep going as he always did but he's given up trying now and asks for my help fairly frequently.
It is good that we're still happily married as I think it would be quite different, and maybe difficult, if we were alone. It seems we compliment each other now better than we ever have. What I can't do, H does, and what he can't do, I can. I hope it continues on like that because it feels very comfortable. Old shoes fit the best.
But I also know that our future will hold sad goodbyes to many friends, both human and animal, and that scares me a little. We've already been to the funeral of one friend this year and it was sad and very confronting. Who knows who the next funeral will be for. The Australian statistics tell us that if you're a man and you've reached the age of 60, you have, on average, another 22 years to live. An Australian woman, having reached 60, is likely to live another 25 years. So if the statistics prove to be accurate in our case, we still have a long way to go.
Having someone you love so sick makes you think though. Listening to breathing in the still of the night makes your mind wander to the unthinkable. I was glad to be up and showered this morning and glad that it's a new week with so many new possibilities.