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Column: Golden girl looks for old age's silver lining

As if I needed more proof that old age has me in its clutches, now I have to use a cane. It has already invaded my life. But no ordinary metal cane will do for this old gal.
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Columnist Erna Fex is adjusting to the realities of old age. Supplied photo.
As if I needed more proof that old age has me in its clutches, now I have to use a cane. It has already invaded my life.

But no ordinary metal cane will do for this old gal.

It took me a while to find one I liked, but as soon as I saw this pretty one, it had to be mine. It’s very colourful — a paisley pattern, if you please. It is my new accessory. It matches everything I wear, yes, it does, so I’m becoming rather proud of it.

It gives me a certain gravitas as I strut down the sidewalk.

Let’s see now – that cane, the hearing aid, my purse, my scarf, gloves, my boots, usually a bag with a book or something else deemed essential. Who can keep track of all this stuff?

Obviously, not me. This old woman is at the point where I have to make a list to look at before I leave the house. Undoubtedly an excellent idea, but what if I lose that list? Or forget to look at it? Or can’t remember where I put it? (very probable!)

You can see immediately that this list business draws attention to my absentmindedness again. If there is someone present who is not aware of my cane, I tell them. It’s my reality now.

But I don’t want to be reminded over and over again. Just last week, after visiting a family member in North Bay, it happened again — I had left my scarf behind. Can you believe it?

I have to admit that I have fallen a number of times lately. Bone fractures are awfully painful and quite unacceptable. When that happens, my entire lifestyle is affected.

I don’t enjoy that. So, I have agreed to use this lovely cane outside – especially in winter. Another benefit is that it helps me to get in and out of the car. Never thought of that. And hey, I have a new dance partner if I need one.

Getting old may not be a happy time. I have learned that trying to be positive makes it easier to accept whatever calamities the so-called Golden Years bring us.

I try to remember that “Every cloud has a silver lining,” which might be difficult to discern at times. Just keep looking, is my motto.

Erna de Burger-Fex is a writer and retired teacher.



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