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A Life Well Lived
For Tedrowe's birthday, I painted him in watercolors. Then I wrote him a poem.
My husband Bob turns 90 this year. He does not look like, act like, nor have the body of a 90 year old. Just ask the orthopedic surgeon who repaired a ruptured tendon in his elbow two years ago after he tried to lift our couch. “You don’t have the anatomy of an 88 year old,” she said. I thought, “He doesn’t have the sense of a 88 year old either, trying to lift a couch by himself.”
I turn 75 this year. There, I said it. Don’t really like that I am turning 75. But, as the saying goes, it’s better than the alternative, and getting older can be quite liberating. I find I am much freer with my art. I embrace new ideas, figuring what the heck, why not try that! I find I now have a comfort and confidence when approaching the unknown, and I am curious and excited to challenge myself. Art can do this at any age of course, but for a person of a certain age to have a creative outlet and permission to try new things is a true blessing.
In 2005 my good friend Tedrowe turned 82. And it was Tedrowe, not Ted—Tedrowe could never be a Ted. Tedrowe was the only person I ever knew who wore an ascot and pocket hankie. He was a handsome guy, a Marine veteran of WWII, a successful business man and an avid sailor. He skied and rode horses and became an artist in retirement. He was funny and self-deprecating. Those who played golf with him were destined to witness his oft repeated admonishment to himself if he missed a putt or a shot went wrong, “Tedrowe! You fat f—k!”
For his birthday dinner party, I decided to make a card. I painted him using watercolors and, at the suggestion of Bob, wrote a poem honoring his birthday. In 2013 we celebrated our Tedrowe’s 90th birthday at a grand party with his family and many friends at a local Montana dude ranch. It was his last.
So, in honor of Tedrowe and Bob and all the 90 year olds out there; to the 82 year olds; the 75 year olds and everyone else who looks around wondering “how the heck did I get this old!” I give you the poem I wrote for Tedrowe and read to him the night of his birthday in September, 2005.
Listen to Tabby read her poem here…
A Life Well Lived A life well lived gives clarity to lost memories Shines perspective on laments of the past and brings a quiet, secret smile when a distant tenderness returns to touch the heart. A life well lived endures the joining of lives, the raising of children and the loss of youth’s innocence. Like fine wine it reflects the mellowing of tannins, revealing the true essence of the soul. It allows peaceful reflection on a job not always done well but done fairly. A life well lived joins many by blood by interest by choice or chance. All touched by one. But, most of all a life well lived looks joyously to tomorrow to another day of laughter and love and to the magic and wonder of what lies ahead. --T. Ivy, 2005
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Tabby Ivy is a painter living in Bigfork, Montana. Painting came late in her life. Her studio is a converted golf cart garage which is a sanctuary for working and reading her extensive collection of art books.