A chapter from my book, I See Old People, here’s a short read about a visit with one of my seniors. You’ll find there’s a way to see beauty in everyone and everything if you look close enough.
“I will not retire while I’ve still got my legs and my make-up box.” Bette Davis
One day Miriam shocks me and the residents. Wearing only a shirt and an adult diaper, she struts proudly into the room. Her legs are strong yet wrinkly like an elephant. A few of the residents appear disgusted. Nancy mouths “Oh dear lord.” I’m speechless.
One of the aides reacts quickly while suppressing the urge to laugh.
“Miriam, my dear, where are your pants?” she asks.
Miriam responds matter of factly. “They are in my room.”
“Well my dear, we must get them back on,” the aide remarks as she attempts to shuffle Miriam along.
Sure to leave the room with a shred of dignity, Miriam looks directly at me and says, “My mom always said I had beautiful legs.”
I laugh out loud and tell her, yes, you do have outstanding legs my dear. As I walk out that day, I make it a point to stop by Miriam’s room. I want to check out those young, beautiful legs.
I spot a black and white photograph of her. She is outstretched on a rock wearing a white linen shirt and a pair of shorts that reach mid length. Her legs are bent upward toward her chest. Miriam’s arms are bent straight back supporting her body. The image exposes a woman who is half sex-kitten and half intellectual Girl Scout.
Smiling broadly, Miriam is sure, steady and confident much like the rock she sits upon. She looks at the camera with a knowing glance that seems to say, “Go on. Make my day.” It would have made the character Harry Callahan proud.
I imagine the scene that day. Her mom asks her to pose. She says, “Hey Miriam, let’s show off those gorgeous gams.” I smile and walk away feeling giddy. I’m so glad Miriam remembers she has gorgeous legs.
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