Readers, I introduce you to Agnes Rose. Miss Rose is the portion of my personality that closely resembles that of an eighty-year old woman; this proponent of my personality is so dominant that I believe it deserves to be acknowledged, but calling it “the old lady in me” sounds a bit dirty.
I attribute many things in my life to my hidden-senility, including:
- My love of felines.
- My distaste of 90% of today’s youth.
- My sub-par driving abilities.
- My poor eyesight.
- My adoration of Betty White.
- My compatibility with other elderly women.
- My attachment to old books and photographs.
- My addiction to yard-sales and clearance racks.
To be completely honest, if I was given the chance to spend time with only one generation for the rest of my days, I’d choose the elderly without any other considerations. Sure, they repeat almost everything they say and they cannot operate a remote control or anything that requires electrical current, but if you want an honest, pure, and interesting group of people, you’ve got it.
I spent at least 90% of my childhood summers sitting in nursing homes with whichever family member was residing in Glen Haven at the time. It’s not exactly how most children dreamt of using their time away from school, but I never minded it at all; in fact, I probably learned more at the Home than I did in school. Nursing homes really aren’t so bad: it was always like a party with all of my favorite people, actually. The food wasn’t terrible, the air conditioning was always functioning correctly, and almost everyone was happy to see an eight-year old, Dorothy Hammil look-a-like running around in Tweety Bird overalls.
I think Agnes has been brewing inside of my personality for quite some time; probably since my days of green jello in the Haven cafeteria and Sunday morning bingo in the lobby. The truth is that I’d give anything to turn back time for a day: sit in the pleather recliner, listen to stories that have no relevance to anything in today’s world, and hug each of the loved ones that I’ve lost over the years just one more time.
I am the way I am because when I was eight, my best friends were all at least sixty-five and couldn’t chew large pieces of food very easily. They taught me how to treat people with compassion, they taught me to always stand up for what I believe in, and they taught me that you should never pay for something new when you can find it cheaper at a thrift store. Agnes is a compilation of the many years I spent with my favorite people: my Granny Sara, Papa Sarge, Grandpa Hall, and Aunty Evelyn. This month makes five years (ten for Gramps) since I’ve lost them all, but I am reminded everyday that they’re in my heart because of the instantaneous U-turn I make when I pass a yard sale sign.
I miss you so very much. Thank you for all you taught me.