Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I made it up today by 5:15 AM (yes, AM) and headed to the YMCA to work out as part of my new routine. When I arrived in the locker room, there was Marge. She sitting on the bench in my locker area; confidently changing her clothes to get into the pool. I assumed she must be around 75 or so and in fairly good shape. Her sassy spirit was quite evident in our banter. She wanted to know if I was one of the "new girls". I hadn't been called a girl in so long, I quickly responded that I was indeed a "new girl". Apparently miffed that I was in her space, she went on to tell me that she drives all the way from Monticello three times a week to workout and that there were already four women in our section who come religiously and have for years. Of course by this time I was bound and determined to win her over—the challenge was simply too hard to resist.

I assured her that I would not be intrusive; that I simply needed to grab my headphones and would be out of their way. She seemed relieved. I expressed that I was impressed with her dedication to fitness and that she looked amazing. "Well,” she explained, “besides coming to the YMCA on a regular basis, I never drank, I never smoked and I had a lot of sex. That is why I am in such good shape. I am almost 90 years old." NINETY!!! WOW!! What a recipe for longevity.

I introduced myself and she politely reciprocated. She told me that she lost her husband 15 years earlier. I told her I had lost my two and a half years ago. There is an instant bond between widows—camaraderie that time and age transcends. Immediately, her spirit softened. We traded a few more pleasantries and I headed for the locker room door. Behind me, I heard her say, "Ah, a new friend."

With a grin on my face, that she never caught sight of, I responded, "You bet, Marge. Thanks for the advice and I'll see you Thursday."

Blessings come in different packages, in countless circumstances and through a multitude of means. We must be receptive when they present themselves. Today, Marge was my blessing…

This I know for sure.


kap said...

Just as Marge has inspired you, you continue to inspire me. I'm so glad that you found the energy and resolve to make to the "Y" that early and one day I'll get there with you. One of these days I'll l;ook at you and say "Ninety, Wow".

Shelly said...

Great story....and yes, I get that "instant camraderie" thing you spoke of....

Thanks for the reminder to recognize the unexpected blessings...grace and peace.

Ali said...

I have bonds of understanding with several women in their 80's in my church, that I never would have had without the shared experience of being a widow.

Ali - who's very impressed with your fitness resolve and has no problem with thinking of you as a girl :)