Jean, My New Role Model

by Jan Yuill

This is not Jean.

I met her at last week’s Weight Watchers meeting. It was just the two of us who stayed after class for the introduction to the program. She talked casually about losing her “middle,” which she grabbed in her hand to show me. “About 50 pounds,” she said. I smiled. I have something similar going on.

Just as we were comparing mid-sections, a woman came into the room and exclaimed, “There you are!”

Looking at me, she said, “Guess how old she is.”

I shrugged. “80?”

“No! Tell her, Jean.”

Jean looked at me and said, “Well, I was born in 1915. I guess that makes me 95-years old.” She smiled with satisfaction. Honestly, she looked like 80.

The instructor began to talk about the program … while I still hung on the 95 years. As she went through the program booklet, she reminded Jean that she’d see it all when she got home. I hadn’t understood what that meant until I realized that there was a white cane parked under Jean’s chair. She had a “reader” at home to help her see.

She was wearing jeans and bowling shoes.

As we got up to leave, she talked about the bus schedule and which one to take in order to get to the meeting on time next week.

OK. That’s enough. Ninety-five years old; looks like 80. Outgoing and interesting. Working on getting her figure back. Legally blind. Gets around on town on city buses. Wears blue jeans.

Thanks, Jean. I had been feeling a bit over the hill. But I have a long way to go to catch up to you.