StoryCorps at SHC: Connie Turkington and Joanne Pasotti

The old body has to learn to be patient with itself.

Joanne Pasotti (JP): I was lucky enough, blessed in my life to be physically active, to play golf, to play tennis, to run. I was active as a child. We all played outside. But now I am at 92, certainly looking back at my life, and also experiencing what it's like to be this age and to be disabled. Up until four years ago, I was able to get up every morning and go to a swim class, or I was able to drive, I was able to write. I currently have tremor and can barely write legibly. I don't drive anymore, obviously. So a lot has changed in my life and it has slowed me down enough to want to look back and look at how very lucky I am and have been.

Connie Turkington (CT): When you and Mike were healthy and active and when I visited you the other day, I could see that eye-to-eye smile between the two of you. And you looked at him and you said, "You know, we were really healthy and active and always... pretty much until... What do you think? Around 85?" And he said, "Yeah, about 85." And then you said, "We pretty much just go along now, day by day." And it felt relaxed about the way you are, but is there more to add to that?

JP: Well, yes, looking at inside, whatever the cocoon of disability is, I have noticed my impatience with myself and at what it has been like. But I think it's a lesson to be inside an old body and with an old brain. The old brain looks at so much of the past, and the old body has to learn to be patient with itself and try not to be hurt by the way you sometimes can be treated differently or looked at differently. So if my younger self could talk to my older self say: there are going to be a lot of situations that will surprise you. Some of them will be pleasant, some of them will be unpleasant, but don't be surprised. Go with it. Whatever it is, you're going to have to go with it and do the best you can with it. So you do have the good times, the high times. You do have the low times. There are small, little achievements, heartaches, some not so good experiences, but you have to adapt. And I think that is an important thing you learn as you get older.

CT: Amazing.

JP: Here's to life.

CT: Yeah, here's to life

Sound Editor: Carolina Correa

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