I should have known that I would get a letter from Auntie Glad. I should have known because the movie Rabbit-Proof Fence was on the other night, and whenever that movie is on, very soon afterwards I get a letter from Auntie Glad in Australia.
For those of you who don’t know, Auntie Glad is an amazing woman. She is 95-years-old and shows no signs of slowing down…come hell or high water! For her 80th birthday, she attended a fancy dress party, held in her honour. Her costume? A punk, complete with leather mini-skirt, fishnet stockings and green-dyed hair. At 90, she joined a gym…because she’d “never joined a gym before”. When, aged 92, she tore her leg open on a broken pool tile, the hospital’s demand for her to be admitted for surgery and a skin graft was met with, “I haven’t got time for that! Stick some stitches in it and give me some crutches. I’ve got a bloody plane to catch!” So, it was with great anticipation that I opened her latest letter, eager to read all what she has been up to since May.
I was not disappointed, with her exploits being as hilarious as ever. She told me how she’s been fine, other than – and I quote – “having to go into hospital for a day to have my heart thumped back to a normal beat because the stupid bloody thing went haywire.” It seems her son convinced her that it was not a good idea for her to drive herself the 50 miles to the nearest hospital, and that she should let him drive. “I suppose it was for the best” she admitted, both reluctantly and grudgingly.
Next week, she has been invited to, and attending, a large nurses reunion. Auntie Glad is a former nurse, practicing first in Liverpool, then in Canada and finally in Australia where she retired. She said that although she has a car, she’s going to be picked up, so that she can “have a little drinky”. Later on in the week, she will be flying by helicopter to help out with a Red Cross fundraiser, and then, if she’s “feeling up to it” she may get her son to teach her how to surf!
I’m not entirely sure whether anyone has told Auntie Glad that she is actually 95-years-old. Mind you, I don’t think she’d listen even if they did. I just hope that if I am lucky enough to reach such a grand age, I can be as fun loving and irreverent as she is.
Auntie Glad, I salute you! You are the epitome of the maxim that “You don’t stop having fun when you get old. You get old when you stop having fun!”