My flight was delayed more than an hour leaving Las Vegas yesterday due to storms hovering over the desert. It was one of the bumpier rides I've had in my travels, but the Jet Blue pilot kept us informed so though my heart was pounding now and then, I never felt unsafe. The late Long Beach arrival put me in the L.A. commute traffic, but I was so GLAD to be home. As Rumi says, "Kneel and kiss the ground."
My dog Cookie bounded to the door to meet me and both of us were overjoyed to see each other. One of my nieces stayed with Cookie and I'm happy to report that the medication the vet ordered for the incontinence has worked. Yay and double yay!
This is my 81-year-old sister Virginia and me, of course, right before my nephew brought me to the Las Vegas airport yesterday. She had definitely slowed down since I saw her last two years ago and it made me aware of how important it is, while I am mobile myself, to make more effort to see my sisters more often. Neither Betty or Virginia will travel on a plane anymore so the visiting is up to me. And, though I feel the fear and do it anyway, I am not so eager to hop on a plane anymore because of the all airport hassle--and then missing my own home and surroundings so much after a short while.
It is so interesting to observe my older relatives and friends and see the vast differences in how they cope with aging. My two late sisters became extremely reclusive and fear-filled, though both of them had serious illnesses in their final years. Virginia, who was always "out there among 'em" is largely homebound now, though if I lived there, I know I'd get her out more. Betty, on the other hand, whose health is more precarious, has become even more active at 83 than she ever was before. After her husband's death in May, she joined a grief group and has made many new like-minded friends. Tomorrow I meet my friend Mae, 81, for lunch and she is such a livewire. All of my older friends are my teachers in the art of aging.
This quote by Henri Amiel in 1874 seems apropos tonight: “To know how to grow old is the master-work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living." And I say, we learn how to do it from each other.