I’ll be 74 next month, so I’m used to forgetting things like my best friend’s name, or my PIN number, or my glasses and keys, one of which I always eventually find on the top of my head. This is the slow, steady drip into decrepitude.
But what’s shocking is to do something you’ve done well all your life, and suddenly you can’t do it at all. This has happened three times this summer.
I used to sing well and was the “Head Choir Boy” in high school. But on July 1st, I tried to sing O Canada and could barely carry the tune. Instead of three octaves, my range was cut to what seemed like three notes, except as I later learned, in the shower where I’m still The Boss. Still, to suddenly not be able to carry a tune was a shock.
In June, I went skipping with the grandkids over the rocks at our cottage on Georgian Bay. I have to tell you I’m a great rock-walker, deftly leaping from one uneven surface to the next, and have been all my life. But suddenly, I got wobbly. These rocks weren’t a challenge; they were a deathtrap. We all know what happens when you’re old and ‘fall.’ I quickly retreated to the sandy shore.
Then last week, some friends asked me to join a beanbag-throwing game. The hole was 20 yards away and you just had to throw the bag into it. Mine never got near that hole. It splayed everywhere but. I’ve been great at ‘ball’ games all my life and beanbags should be no different. What was this fresh hell?