“I like cucumbers,” my grandmother used to say, “but cucumbers don’t like me.”
I wondered what she meant by this but I was too embarrassed to ask. At our house, cucumbers were part of every meal during the summer. I loved them and, as far as I could tell, they loved me back.
My grandmother said other things I didn’t understand. Sometimes she announced that she had slept well as if it were a special occasion. I always slept well and couldn’t figure out why she didn’t do the same.
Now, all these years later, I’m a grandmother myself and I know about not always sleeping well. I also know some other things about getting older that aren’t so much fun.
I hear about them from friends and have experienced a few of my own. Although cucumbers still like me, I can’t eat as much ice cream as I used to or run as many miles. Which doesn’t mean I’ve taken to my rocking chair. Neither did my grandmother.
It means I appreciate everything more, even as everything is changing. I especially appreciate how much my grandmother didn’t say about her aches and pains, her fears and disappointments. Most of it she kept to herself.
I plan to do the same.