Getting Older by John E. Stack

Hey all, I was sitting around the other day and I noticed that my joints hurt.  My knees were killing me and I could hardly straighten my back.  When I tried to stand it was mission impossible.  I hobbled to the bathroom to get something for the pain and what I saw nearly scared me to death.  I think my house is haunted.

We have this great big mirror in our bathroom.  I try not to look too deeply into it because I’ve read too many stories where you see something that is not supposed to be there.  I have read where people see other worlds, where people can walk into the mirror and transport somewhere else, people walk out of the mirror from who knows where, or they may see something really scary.  I think that may be what happened to me.

Anyway, I decided to look into the mirror to check and see if there was anything wrong on the outside of me.  Much to my surprise, looking back at me was an old guy with really gray hair and glasses.  He was fairly chubby, and generally looked like he had been put through the wringer.  Bad thing was that when I moved, so did he.  Every move I tried, he duplicated.  I knew that it must be a haunted mirror or some kind of trick my wife was trying to play on me.

The poor old guy looked really bad.  Maybe if he hit the gym, lost some weight, and tried to iron out some of those wrinkles he might not look so bad.  Then I noticed something familiar about him.  He looked a lot like my dad.  He had the same nose, but his ears weren’t big enough.  He had lots of hair, though it be gray, where dad had hair on the sides and back, but none on the top.  It just couldn’t be my dad because he has been gone for many, many years.  Must be a coincidence.

Something strange was going on and I had to figure it out.  The more I looked the more I realized that it couldn’t be me.  I wasn’t that old.  Last I looked I was around forty-five, and that guy wasn’t even close to that age.  But, wait a minute, my daughters are forty-two, forty and nine.  When did that happen?  I might be older but not that old.  It seems like the girls just got married only a short time age and Allie was just getting ready to start school.  Where did time go?

I was starting to feel sick.  My stomach hurt.  I was dizzy.  I could hardly see because my bi-focal’s were dirty.  Bi-focal’s?  Yeah, okay.  Anyway, I just wasn’t feeling all that well.  I thought that maybe if I passed out, things would be back to normal when I woke up, even if I was at the hospital.

I decided to check one more thing before I called the doctor.  I would check my driver’s license because it would have my birthdate and a picture.  As I looked at it I could tell the picture had been altered.  I knew it.  My wife had been up to her practical jokes again. Well, maybe not. With these dirty glasses, who can tell what they are looking at.

Then something else fell out of my billfold.  It was a red, white and blue card that said welcome to Medicare.  As the tears poured from my eyes, I knew it must be true.  That wrinkled up old guy had to be me.

It is hard to believe, but yes, this is the year I thought I would never see.  In a couple of days I will be sixty-five.  Two to be exact.  Life has been good but these last few years have flown by.  It is almost time to retire, but not quite.  I still have a nine-year-old to help raise.

***John E. Stack is the author of Cody’s Almost Trip to the ZooOlivia’s Sweet Adventure and Cody’s Rescue Adventure at the Zoo.

 

6 Comments

Filed under fun, Humor, John Stack, life, writing

6 responses to “Getting Older by John E. Stack

  1. Man – could I ever relate to this… Sigh. Enough said.

  2. E M Hector

    Dear John,
    Please understand, you are not alone. I look at all the silver weaving its way through my previously, very dark brown head of hair, and realize I have earned every one of them. When my granddaughters call me old, I am grateful to have made it to this plateau.

    Looking back just a few years I exclaimed in disbelief that the next time I needed to renew my drivers license was when I turned sixty. That time has come and gone. I can only hope I am around for the next renewal.

    Longevity does not seem to run in my family so I am thankful for each and every day, wrinkles, grey hair, aches and pains et al.

  3. I think someone’s done something to my mirror; Whenever i look in it i see my Mum. Meanwhile, our son looked at our much treasured, most recent photo and announced “You guys look really old in that picture.” So maybe someone’s done something to the camera too.

  4. John, I know you feel like age is doing its thing on you, but remember there are good things that accompany that aging. One is satisfaction in learning so many of life’s lessons. You’ve certainly learned the lesson of how to be of service; in the military, in the schools, and to those desperately needy infants you and your wife care for. This accomplishment is something many cannot claim and I think you can be proud of yourself despite those achy joints and silver hair. I’m glad to have met you through writing.

  5. I can relate to seeing your dad in the mirror. I remember once walking by a store window and seeing my mother’s reflection on the glass. I was surprised because she didn’t live anywhere near there, and when I turned to look for her, no one was around but me. It took me a minute to realize it was me I had seen.

  6. Loved your blog, John. Very entertaining. I know, all too well, that feeling of looking in the mirror and asking when and how did this reflection happen. I just turned 70. Uh, wait a minute. I turned 70 nearly a year ago. In fact, I can’t understand how it’s happened that my 71st birthday is only a month and eight days away. Growing old ain’t for sissies, that’s for sure! As you suggested, the worst part is still feeling like your forties in your head, but having your body rebel with all its aches and pains. Plus, seeing the wrinkles that shouldn’t be there! I still have bright auburn hair, but that’s only because I pay for it once each month. No grey for me. Yea, John, growing old sucks a big, fat egg!

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