A pirate looks at 60

When Kim turned forty, twenty years ago today, she was a mother of two, worked in a hospital as a Speech Language Pathologist, volunteered with the girl scouts, was a room parent.

She was tired.

We had help from her parents and mine but we were exhausted.

There’s something about being tired that focuses you on the things you have energy for. Kim soon decided there were a lot of things she didn’t give a ____ about. She was awesome at forty.

I remember being twenty and trying to picture what forty would be like.

I don’t know what I was thinking about – but it wasn’t the forty that Kim and I shared.

At forty-five the list of things that Kim wasn’t bothered by had grown.

It wasn’t at all that she was uncaring or didn’t work really hard at a lot of things. It was that she knew what was important and that’s where she spent her time.

She wanted to throw a birthday party for me when I turned fifty. I’m not big on being the center of attention so that day came and went. When it was her turn, she decided she didn’t want one either.

It didn’t bother her that she was fifty.

Kim was awesome at fifty. She didn’t give two ____s about things that other people found themselves obsessed with.

At fifty-five she was damn near perfect.

She was bothered by how her skin was changing. She worried that she was getting old lady skin. That was one of the things I didn’t give two ____s about. Sure it felt different and it bothered me that it bothered her. But it didn’t bother me other than that any more than my weight bothered her.

She loved the Jimmy B song “A pirate looks at forty”. I’ve searched the lyrics for what resonated with her – but she just liked it.

“The cannons don’t thunder, there’s nothing to plunder.”


I think she just liked the sound and the feel.

She always had music on in the kitchen. Old music. New music. She knew more of both than I did. She listened to college radio in the car.

Maybe it’s the line about re-centering.

 “… got to stop wishing, got to go fishing, down to rock bottom again.
Just a few friends, just a few friends.”


Still think it was the sound and feel.

She moved to the music in the kitchen. Or more like it the music propelled her, passed the time, made her smile.

I’ve been listening to more music lately. Old music. New music. Music that people suggest.

I was listening earlier as I drove to the cemetery to visit Kimmy’s grave on her sixtieth birthday.

She would have been an awesome sixty year old.

Published in: on September 8, 2020 at 2:15 pm  Comments (3)