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photo by Sheri Dixon

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Someday I'm Gonna Be Old

And when I am, I hope the people around me are patient and kind.

Because I'm gonna be cranky and forgetful and sometimes hard to live with.

Yes- VERY different from how I am now. Shut up.

So Joe's mom Edna wanted to go see her brother Grady, since he's getting old and may die soon (her words) Grady is a few years YOUNGER than Edna. I had told Edna that when she moved here I would take her back to Oklahoma whenever she wanted to see family and friends. Last year we attended her baby sister's funeral.

So I thought we'd leave last Monday, drive to Lawton where Grady is, see Grady, stay the night in Lawton, drive to OKC to see her niece, her old neighbor and her best friend, stay in OKC Tuesday night and then come home Wednesday. Everything she wanted to accomplish and in a time frame that wouldn't kill us both.

Edna didn't want to stay two nights away from home. She said all she really wanted was to see Grady, stay one night and come home.

The day I was gonna make the reservations I double checked with Edna. Yes. One night.

But

As long as we were up there, we could see Pam, Billie and Edna (Yep- Edna's best friend is also Edna. I will be referring to her hereafter as E2).

So I made reservations for OKC for Tuesday night.

We left on Tuesday morning and it was farther to Lawton than I remembered. We didn't get to the VA Home till almost 5pm. Grady was wonderfully surprised and happy to see us. We stayed about an hour and then headed to OKC; just under 2 hours NE of Lawton.

Tuesday night we tried contacting Pam, Billie and E2- an exercise we'd been participating in for several days with no success. Where the hell could these people be? Pam works and Billie and E2 are almost as old as Edna and just as car-less.

Edna resigned herself to not seeing Pam (the niece) but still wanted to see Billie and E2.

Billie was easy. I KNOW where Edna used to live, so finding her neighbor was a piece of cake.

While Edna was getting dressed I had a brainstorm- in my briefcase I still had her current phone bill- that would have E2's phone number on it!

But only if she had called E2 during the last month, which she hadn't.

Then I had a brainsprinkle (smaller and less impressive than a storm)- Edna had her phone and address book with her- that's where all the non-answered numbers were. I could simply punch in E2's address and the magic i-phone would bring us right there.

"Edna- you have E2's address, right?"
"Yes. At home".

Frustrated but still patient and calm I asked Edna how we were supposed to find E2 with no address. "She's my best friend- of course I know where she lives".

OK. Fine. I asked her where she lives.

"I don't know- she just moved last year- when you took me to visit her after Wanda's funeral that was the first time I'd been there. Don't YOU remember how to get there?"

No. No I didn't remember how to get to a place I'd been once before a year ago. Sue me.

Digging as deep as I could into my moth-infested memory banks, I remembered that we took RT 66 into Yukon and went through downtown before turning left. The only thing I remembered after that was E2 lives across the street from the school and said all that out loud.

"No, she doesn't".

"Edna? I sat in the car and called in my work order last time and watched the kids come out of school. Yes, she does."

"Well, she's my best friend- I should know what her house is across the street from".

We saw Billie without incident. She has a new phone number, so that's why we couldn't get a hold of her.

I told Edna we would drive around Yukon looking for E2 for a little while, but if it got too late we needed to just go home. She agreed.

So we drove down Rt. 66 into Yukon, through downtown and then I turned left. Randomly. Drove around and around block after block and had just decided that we needed to head home when I turned a corner and said, "There's E2's house".

"Where?"

"Right there- across the street from the school and I'm 100% sure it's her house".

"Why?"

"Because E2 is standing on the porch".

"Where?"

E2 was just getting home from a few days at her daughter's, so that's why we couldn't get a hold of HER.

So they had a great visit and we headed home, getting there 36 hours and just shy of 800 miles after when we left the day before.

I love Edna. She's funny and smart and great company. She's had some terrible times and some great times, and is both optimistic and pragmatic about everything up to and including death.

My life is much richer for having her in it.

I stopped to see Edna Thursday- the day after we got home.

She was a little confused (she gets that way when she's tired, but screw it- so do I) and said, "I remember we stayed in OKC for a night but where did we stay the second night in Anadarko?" (Anadarko is between Lawton and OKC and where she grew up).

I went back through our itinerary- we left Tuesday. "Yes."

Drove to see Grady and then on to OKC where we stayed in the hotel Tuesday night. "Yes."

Saw Billie and E2 Wednesday morning. "Yes."

Drove home Wednesday afternoon/evening. "Yes".

*pause*

"So we did all that in only one night?"

"Yep".

*pause*

"Well, no wonder I feel like shit! I don't know why we didn't stay two nights- you usually plan things better than that."

When I get old I wanna be just like Edna.

And I hope the people around me are patient and kind.



Edna and Grady



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