It’s better to laugh about aging

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/09/2021 (496 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

As I turn 94, I often look back at events of the past and find renewed energy in recalling the fun and friendships enjoyed during those halcyon years.

Here is one adventure from 14 years ago about three of us “youngsters” — me and the late Barbara Barnard and Virginia Andrew. We sat at dinner together, at times we took in mass together at Dakota House, and we drove together to the arts programs such as Winnipeg Symphony concerts.

My friends also accompanied me on shopping sprees. I should think they, too, are laughing from their perch at St. Peter’s side at this episode at Shoppers Drug Mart:

Picture this: a young, 40-ish assistant pharmacist facing three senior women aged 80, 81, and 83, all trying to figure out what they want.

The elder two are sitting on chairs in the waiting area of the drugstore ; explaining, that they have come “to learn how to use the diabetes testing machine we got at your demonstration last week. We’re both diabetic and also quite blind so we can’t read the instructions.”

Not to be outdone, the third woman pipes up with: “And I’m the driver who brought them here. I didn’t go to the demonstration because I wouldn’t have heard the instructions, anyway –  I’m quite deaf. Can you help us?”

At this the pharmacist bursts out laughing. Realizing it is not the politically correct thing to do, she tries to smother her grin by covering her face. Everyone else is howling hilariously by this time, so she puts her hands down and joins in. They are quite the comical sight.

Comical but not pathetic. Because these women had learned to make their way around by helping each other and by being thankful for the blessings they still did enjoy.

“It could be worse” was their motto.

For example, all three of them loved music and so, in spite of their impairments, all three subscribed to the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Pops concert series. No way were they ready to give up life’s pleasures and lie down defeated just yet…

But that’s another story. Suffice it to say that our attendance at one of those symphony concerts yielded yet another side: resourcefulness, when we couldn’t find each other at concert’s end.

May these unforgettable friends rest in peace while I attempt to partake of life’s few pleasures permitted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps it’s just as well for Barbara and Virginia that they pre-empted the scourge.

Anne Yanchyshyn

Anne Yanchyshyn
St. Vital community correspondent

Anne Yanchyshyn is a community correspondent for St. Vital.

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