Some days you like to look down at your hands and see the wrinkles and caress them between your fingers until you realise you're old.
"Mary, lunch is ready do you want a hand?"
You look up at the kind man that married your daughter. You had told him to call you mum but you knew he had troubles growing up and he had explained resentfully that he'd call you anything but that.
"No thank you." You grasp the stick beside you and move up from the big armchair by the window. It looked out onto the back of a big field with a small grove of apple and oranges trees in the distance.
As you hovel your way down the short hall you feel the bones creaking inside of you and the strength it took for each step. No longer were you what you used to be.
At the table everyone is already sitting; your daughter, the kind man their three children. You take the place at the head and lunch begins. You're not sure who prepared it but there's bowls of lettuce and tomato and bread. Your daughter hands you a plate with two slices of bread and you pass it to the nearest child.
"You three make my sandwich for me won't you."
They all smile and lunged forward. You like to watch them do this, as they argue whether you like lots of cheese or only a little, though they always decided with lots. Frankly you don't care whether you have cheese at all, even your taste buds these days were a little dulled. Finally they give it to you, three children beaming with pride at a sandwich stuff with cucumber and very little tomato. Apparently today you don't like tomato very much.
"Thank you darlings."
When lunch is done the children go to rush out to see if the apple tree has any apples yet. You know it's too early but you tell them you thought you saw some when you were looking out the window.
"You can look that far?" They ask.
"Old ladies eyes," you say. "Are full of good sense." In reality you can barely see the trees anymore but you know exactly where to look.
Slowly and comfortably you return to the chair. The parents have followed their children outside and you watch them all troop off to the grove carrying buckets, just in case.
You have met many people who've said they're afraid to grow old. They say it's because of what they'll have to give up, they can't do everything they're doing at the moment. You never needed to still be able to do those things.
Absentmindedly you caress the fingers with the two gold rings. You never feared growing old. It would be when you could look back and see that everything you've wanted in life was there. It was always a simple thing, and now, with the children running to the apple trees, you have it.
Later the children come running back with empty buckets.
"Any apples?" You ask.
"No Grandma but Dad says they'll be here soon."
"Well that's good, and you know when they come I'll make you all a nice pie."
You don't tell them you don't think you'll be able to hold a knife by then or be strong enough to sit the batter but it doesn't matter. You've grown old and you're happy.