• In today's chatty Washington Post Reliable Source column, which leads with the blurb "An Elder Statesman's Wisdom of the Aged,” Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts called attention to a speech Senator Robert Byrd gave from the floor of the Senate yesterday, June 28. Byrd's speech was in response to some recent articles noting the Senator’s outward signs of aging. Senator Byrd is 89.


    Let’s see, 89 minus 62 – that gives me 27 more years to accomplish the things that I dream of accomplishing in my lifetime. That’s good news, as I’m just getting started! I need to attract a publisher with deep pockets, so I can channel off these books that keep writing themselves in my head. I need to find more time to travel and speak on issues regarding caregiving and elders. I need to win a Pulitzer Prize - er - well, I could be getting carried away, here. But you get the point, right? I ain’t done yet.

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    Reading about the Senator’s response was what this newly minted 62-year-old needed. The day I turned 62, I did spend a few moments “feeling my years.”


    “Yikes! Sixty-two is old! I could be collecting Social Security now (assuming I had anything to collect and could afford to retire). I’m the oldest full time employee in the office. I must be old!”


    Then, I checked my work email, took a peek at both of my blogs, answered several of the emails, and comforted a couple of people in the office, who are taking care of elders. I also advised someone on staying limber. By then, I’d drained my insulated coffee cup twice. I drink a lot of coffee, as I get to work about an hour-and-a-half before most of the staff.


    As I refilled so I could refuel, I thought, “What’s different today, from yesterday, other than the date? Nothing much.” So that was the end of my age angst.


    Senator Byrd makes some excellent points in regard to age. In reference to his two canes, he said, “The canes? " I am not aware of any requirement for physical dexterity in order to hold the office of U.S. senator."


    Hmm, didn’t we have a president who used a wheelchair?


    In reference to his shaky signature, he said, "It is true that this year's signature looks like I signed it in a moving car.”


    I loved this one, as I have rheumatoid arthritis, and my handwriting – well, my signature always looks like I’m writing in a moving car.


    The best part of the Senator’s speech, in my view was this: "Why shouldn't these fine senators, now in their 50s through their 80s, get to spread their wings while the old wise Byrd watches?"


    I’m going to stash that comment away for when I get old, Senator. Thanks. You made my year.

    To learn more about Carol, please go to www.mindingourelders.com or www.mindingoureldersblogs.com.



Published On: June 29, 2007