Why is that labrador wearing a string of pearls?

Two things have happened this week to make me ponder what my life will be like as an old lady. Cheery, eh? Well, maybe.

Firstly, I was going out for dinner on Friday and had nothing to wear. Ok, not nothing. Nothing new or shiny. I was visiting my Granny and she gave me a beautiful string of pearls, still in the original box. I stared at them, ran my fingers over their warm little orbs and lifted them out of the box.

Underneath was the guarantee, dated 24th December, 1983. My Grandad had clearly had a bit of a panic buy situation, and hit the local jewelers hoping to find something my Gran would love. And he did. (A very cool guy, my Grandad, a total dude in fact, as we can tell by the pearls.)

So I wore the pearls to dinner, hoping that my clashing-them-with-something-new look was ok. But it got me thinking a lot about my Gran.

She remarried you see, after my Grandad died less than two years after the pearls were bought. And now her memory is going, seriously, really badly, going. And I paused a little, as I wondered for the first time – is her dementia/alzheimers/whatever it is genetic? Will that be me? Will I look at my grandchildren and be frightened by their size, their unwonted familiarity, their gregariousness?

So with that on my mind, I watched Supervet. I know! Supervet made me muse about my old age? Yes it did, honest. Because on Supervet was a beautiful labrador that I fell in love with. I think I’d like a dog, but my husband is never going to change his mind on that one. So realistically, it’s him or a dog. And if I don’t have him at some point in later life…then a dog it will have to be.

So my choices at this point seem to be either to become a confused, sad, increasingly scared old lady, or an old lady who manages to ride the changes, and fills her empty house with a puppy to love, care for and take for walks (just like my husband, really).

I wonder what it will feel like, to walk past the nursery I took my children to every day, where I had to unglue their hands from mine on clingy days, and where they were out of my reach before I could kiss them goodbye on happy days. What will I really recall of how it felt to be the mother of two tiny people, who looked to me for everything, to answer every question, to kiss every bump and scrape and to  – I admit it – sing along to Let it go with for the 12th time that day.

And all I can think is…I hope I do remember it, every minute of it, and cherish it, and hold it in my pocket, and maybe take it out and look at it, as I walk my dog through the autumn leaves in the local park, when I am old.








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