Thursday, August 19, 2010


I nestled into the red wing backed chair in the sun-filled room, facing her. "Look" she said, pointing to another butterfly landing on the Mexican Petunias outside the window. That just happens to be a spicebush swallowtail.  She smiled and settled back against her chair, smoothing the purple lap throw across her spindly legs.  "My eyes  don't see as well as they used to." She said.
I leaned forward resting my elbows on my knees, "I think you see pretty well through eyes which have seen 93 birthdays."
She rested a bit, seemed to be collecting her thoughts. "You know  I love sitting here watching the butterflies and the birds."  Another smile crossed her lips as she spotted a Painted Bunting.
"I don't remember a time in my life when I ever woke up thinking 'what am I going to do today?'
I nodded, waiting for her to finish her thought. 
"I remember trying to cram another hour into the twenty-four I'd been given. Rushing from one task to another, just like that Butterfly." She pointed a finger, long ravaged by arthritis, at the beautiful elusive Butterfly hovering over the dainty petal. "Many days my husband and I barely had time to speak." She leaned her head against the back of the chair and wiped a tear from her cheek. "He's been gone now for so many years." She took a deep breath and exhaled.
"I never thought I would get to this point in my life." 
I smiled and nodded.
"Do you know what I mean?"
"I think I do." I said.
"When you get to be my age, there aren't many things I can do. I'm blessed to still live in my own home. Of course I have help."
She gazed out across the lake, smiling and pointing at the Great White Heron as it swooped down over the lake for todays lunch.
"I am truly blessed. I can still see and identify most of the creatures which pass my window. I am blessed I can still read my Bible. "
Whenever I see a butterfly I am reminded of all my blessings. I'm able to see that butterfly and be reminded of "all the things I can still do."


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Katt -

Although I'm far from 93, I understand this so well.

When I broke my elbow three years ago, I couldn't drive or do the simplest tasks. I would joke that I'd learned the Houdini method of getting dressed. Since recovering, I find joy in everyday chores, grateful I'm able to do them.

Susan :)

Joylene said...

This is so lovely. As you know my MIL is 94 and a half. She has a robin who visits her every morning at her bedroom window. Grandma says the pecking is what wakes her, yet she's as deaf as a doornail. LOL.

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

Susan, I know what you mean---it's only because I can't do certain things any more that I appreciate what I used to be able to do.

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

Joy, my Dad will be 93 next week. Maybe we could fix them up?

Carol J. Garvin said...

I've been away for a couple weeks so am late commenting, but I wanted to say that I love your friend's attitude! So often we focus on what we can't do and moan about it. We take everything we can do for granted.

I have an elderly friend (she's 89) who lives alone and is very independent and active -- trains three Golden Retrievers in obedience and field work every day, among other things. And I have an aunt who is 87 and has several physical limitations, needs oxygen and uses as walker, and has had to move into an assisted-living facility. She still keeps her days full of activity -- paints and sketches, makes hasti-notes from her paintings, knits toques and scarves for the homeless, quilts, spends lots of time on the computer and socializes with her fellow residents. Both of them appreciate and use whatever abilities they still have. I feel lazy in comparison!

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

Carol, isn't it amazing what we can learn from them? I feel blessed to be surround with all their experience and most of all their infectious attitudes!
Hugs my friend