Describe yourself at age ninety.
I woke up this morning ninety years old, wearing a charcoal colored, cotton, nightgown, and I was happy to be in the comfort of my own home. I stretched my wrinkled arms and legs and slowly made my way to the bathroom. I stare at myself in the mirror and everything is wrinkled at ninety, even the parts I forget I have, like that little stretch of skin between my back and my underarms, or that scar above my lip I always hope no one will notice. My hair is like a knotted wrap that sprouts from my temple, hugs my shoulders, and touches my fingertips as the ends sway back and forth like tassels down my back. Its length weighs it down, so that after being brushed it looks almost straight. I smile at myself in the bathroom mirror, because, in spite of my many years, I still have my own teeth. My ears got longer though, but my hearing hasn’t improved much. Fortunately, everyone in my family is boisterous and loud. I often hear them laughing in their house across the lawn, or singing for me when they decide to stop by.
“Abueeeeeeela, Graaaaaaandma.” they call, and it is always music to my ears. My mornings however, are spent in contemplative silence. I like to keep life simple, so I make my way from the bathroom to the kitchen barefoot. It is too hot for shoes, and the tile floor is cool to the touch. My love is waiting for me in the kitchen. He quietly reads a paperback book he has folded open with one hand and sips coffee from the mug he has in the other. I have never been much of a coffee drinker, so I put hot water on the stove for my peppermint tea. My husband looks at me other the top of his book with smiling eyes and softly hums the melody to the song “Amanece” which means to rise in the morning.
It takes me a little longer to wake up in the mornings than it used to. When I was little I had to make an extra effort when making the transition from the dream world to reality, but now I can take my time. I don’t have to worry about getting the kids up and ready anymore, and the neighborhood children do not come by for specials until after three. The kettle cries out, “teeeeeea!” and I pour the hot water into my favorite emerald green mug. I sit next to my husband in a square wooden chair, at the square wooden table, in the middle of our kitchen. “Good morning my love” I say as the warm peppermint tea settles gently in my stomach. He leans over and kisses me on the shoulder and says good morning as well. A few minutes pass and as I get up to wash my cup in the sink I can see a rain cloud pass over our house through the glass window. The sun brings shines through the first rain of spring, and the droplets are like little diamond treasures taken in by the earth. I go outside because it is good luck to get wet in the first rain of spring. Not thirty seconds go by when I hear my granddaughter run into her back yard toward our house yelling.
“ Grandpa! Why do you let her do that? She’ll get sick!” but he just smiles.
“ Mija, since when has she done what I tell her to? Don’t worry, I’ll make sure she takes a warm shower and dries up good ok?”
My granddaughter built our house for us in her back yard, so we would be close to family. I know she means well but she needs to learn to unplug herself and enjoy what is in front of her. I wish she would dance in the rain and talk to the animals and the plants. I offered to teach her once. I am sure she thinks I am crazy. Maybe I am, but at least I am happy.