My Nonagenarian Aunt Doris Shares Her Thoughts On Growing Old

This is the first post of an occasional series from my dear Aunt Doris, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 94.


I wish everybody could have an Aunt Doris in their family.

When you buy a refrigerator, or a car, or even a teakettle, you get a booklet that tells you what to expect, how it works, and basically what to do in the case it doesn’t work. We humans don’t have that luxury, we simply go along thinking: Oh, I’m going to live forever!

But then — bam! — it starts. For me, getting old started with an innocent little twinge.

Then, one day, I looked in the mirror and discovered that I had broken out in wrinkles. And now I not only look like my mother, but my grandmother too.

Each passing year has brought me a new twinge.

Eventually I found myself grunting every time I got up or sat down.

Remember the old television show Sanford & Son starring the late Redd Foxx? His venerable character, Fred Sanford, used to clutch his heart and look to the sky as he’d cry to his late wife, “I’m coming, Elizabeth!” I feel the same way now, not that “Elizabeth” would ever know me.

I used to go all day in the mall. Now sometimes it takes me that long just to go to the restroom — but that’s another story.

I used to run like the wind, but now I get winded getting out of a chair.

My hair is falling out.

The thing is, although I’m almost 91, my brain still works as well today as it did when I was 21.

Life’s funny that way.



  1. 1


    Thanks for writing today Aunt Doris. I would love to hear more of your insights, there is so much you could share that would teach all of us!

    I remember watching Sanford and Son like it was yesterday. I wonder what it was like for Lamont when his dad was always acting like he so upset he was having constant heart attacks. Kind of cruel now that I think about it! :)

  2. 2

    nansuelee says

    I have an “Aunt Doris” I call her Grandma. She is 87 and although she is facing some health issues she is still possitive an for the most part joyful. She taught me as I was growing up to make a feast for guests from the leftovers in the fridge, that any occasion is cause for a party, sometimes get the fancy stuff out for regular days and to be a gracious host. The doctors say she may not be with us for more than a few months. The world will be a little dimmer without her.

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    Aunt Doris, what would you say was your best personal finance advice for a young couple getting started and what was your own biggest money mistake?

    Yea that’s two posts for the new column for you Len.
    No charge!

  4. 6


    I am turning 65 years old next month and so far no twinges. I have a feeling that I am running so fast that I am just staying ahead of it. I expect it will suddenly just overtake me as I slow down. Is that the way it happens? BTW, my Mom live to just shy of 99. I found out recently that she lied about her age (by 1 year) when she immigrated.

  5. 8


    Nice post.
    When I was young, I used to think that I would NEVER get gray hair, grow fat or complain that my back hurts. HA. Now I am in my sixties and starting to see the effects of aging (that apparently start when we make it past 20 and just keep on coming).


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