by Richard Lancaster
I shared a beer the other day with my old mate, Nev Byers, who now resides in enviable splendour at beautiful Bongaree. We got to talking about a subject that is close to both our hearts. A little too close perhaps!
That’s Age! Well, after all, he’s in his seventies and I’m in my eighties, so sooner or later it was going to come up. We both agreed that although we have experienced the heat of many scorching summers and felt the icy blast of a winter or two, and that although our flesh that’s the bodywork appeared somewhat battered, our minds or the motors are still ticking over sweetly. Well, reasonably sweetly anyway!
We discussed the dangers of dementia, arthritis and a number of other ailments and diseases that we humans can suffer in our so-called ‘senior years.’ However, we steered clear of talking about neurodegenerative diseases, malignant brain aging, cardiac inflammation, and myocardial infarction, not because we didn’t understand what they were, which we didn’t, but because they sound very scary! And as the sun crept over the yardarm, it soon became time for our nanna naps! As we rose to say farewell, I remembered a poem I had once heard.
Just a note to say I’m living,
That I’m not among the dead,
Though I’m getting more forgetful,
And mixed up in my head.
I got used to my arthritis,
To my dentures I’m resigned,
I can manage my bifocals,
But boy, I miss my mind.
For I sometimes can’t remember,
When I stand at the foot of the stairs,
If I must go up for something,
Or have I just come down from there?
And before the fridge so often,
My poor mind is filled with doubt,
Have I just put some food away?
Or have I come to take some out?
And there’s a time when it’s dark,
And my nightcap’s on my head,
I don’t know whether I’m retiring,
Or just getting out of bed.
So, it’s my time for writing,
There’s no need for getting sore,
I may think I have written,
And don’t want to be a bore.
So, remember that I love you,
And wish that you were near,
But now it’s nearly post time,
So, I must say ‘Goodbye My Dear.’
There I stand beside the post box,
With my face so very red,
Instead of posting you my letter,
I have opened it instead.
Needless to say, I didn’t recite it to Neville.