I absolutely adore my Auntie Izy. She is most definitely the definition of the "elderly aunt". She just turned 91 years old.
She lives in her spotlessly clean little apartment in the elderly housing in my town. She has no help from any agency, she does all her own cooking and cleaning. She built a big garden out behind her building, and she sits out under the trees in her little folding chair, with a small table beside her to hold her glass of water and her book.
Aunt Izy is delightfully old-fashioned in that she eschews all technology. She has no idea what the internet is.....she's never used a computer. She has a landline phone in her living room. She does have a "jitterbug" cell phone, which she keeps in her car in case she needs it. She's never, ever used it in the eight years she's owned it. But she faithfully takes it inside once a month to re-charge it, "just in case."
She did concede to getting a flat screen TV....but it's been the bane of her existence as she can't remember which buttons to push on the remote control. She finally taped notes onto the buttons so she doesn't have to keep calling us over when the TV goes kerflooey!
Yes, she has a car. It's a 2003 with about 40,000 miles on it. I took it to be inspected for her this year, and she was embarrassed at the small amount of mileage she's put on it since last year. She drives literally less than a mile to the grocery store, and maybe to her doctor in the next town once in a while.
Every time I go to her apartment, her furniture is moved to different locations. How does she move that heavy stuff all by herself?
She's getting frail now and has started to worry about asking for help. She wants to stay independent as long as possible. She found a young woman who does chores for some of the other elderly in the building and she would rather pay her to come and do chores like taking curtains down for washing, than call me and ask me to do it. She doesn't want to be a bother. (Even though I've told her a million times that I love taking care of her!)
For Christmas, I was enchanted with the gifts she gave us. For me, this lovely set of a jar of strawberry jam, along with a ceramic strawberry to serve it in and a little spoon to scoop it with.
For Tag she found a tin that looks like a six-pack of beer, filled with Beer Flavored Brittle.
Before we left after our last visit, she shook her arthritic old finger at me and said, "And don't get me anything for Christmas. I don't need anything. I'm trying to get rid of stuff. But if you have to, you can get me some Fruit Cake."
I thought that was hilarious. It's an old-fashioned gift for an old-fashioned lady. I was surprised to find some at Market Basket. This little cake weighs a pound and a half!
Despite the fact that she feels like she's lived too long, and she prays every night for God to bring her up to Heaven ("But he never listens to me," she says.) I selfishly hope she's around for a little bit longer.