Portrait Sharon Wagner


Sharon Wagner, I'm 80. I hardly can believe it myself. You're calling this the art of aging to me. I mean, I don't look at it that way. I think it's more like the journey or the trip, and, you know, you can look for where you can make some plans, but you also better prepare to be on, uh, you know, D deal with unexpected. I grew up in Eastern Washington and, uh, in little towns, mostly, uh, uh, by Oakenoggen I, I graduated from Wenatchee high school and then I got married. So I got married when I was 18. So maybe, uh, it's kinda surprising maybe that, uh, some of the other things I did in my life, My oldest child, a boy drowned when he was 16. So that was my first, um, major loss. And I think it prompted, uh, a lot of, uh, sort of a big change in my life generally. And, uh, in, probably in the next, I don't know when the new. Couple of years after his death. Um, I changed my sexual orientation. I changed my job. I started a school. Uh, you know, I was like, I sort of think that it's like the message to me was anything can happen any day. And so you better get on with what you want to do. So Billy and I were teaching at a private school in Seattle, and then we got ourselves in trouble for shoot for being too dog talkative, I think. And it had weight. So we left and started a primary school. And I look back now and I think, oh my God, how did we do. Doing the school and being so active with the kids for, you know, the eighties and the nineties. I think that kept me young every day was a new day and everyday was active, really active. I did it for 27 years before I, uh, uh, stop. Whether I act with boldness or whatever my mom would probably would have said ed, sometimes with foolhardiness we go up to Canada law. We have a vacation house on sit, turn island and, um, they have volunteer, um, Um, many people just volunteers on the island. But anyway, I was just sitting at the table. I got up and one side was like, not working, like why my arm and leg. And so she let called and, um, in inside of five minutes, the guy from down the road was at the house. And he was there checking me out. And then here comes another guy. Who's one of the medics on his backhoe. He'd been working and he parks in the driveway. I see, just put me in the basket, you know, and ride me down to the doctor. I went, went to one of the ball games over here, the bells or whatever they are. It was the first one I ever been to. And I was sitting there and I passed right out. I mean, I just passed out, sitting on those concrete steps and they, uh, hauled me off to the hospital. I was worried about that because that kept kind of happening. Although usually I didn't completely pass out, but then I was in the hospital for another state. I was getting ready to leave and Sheila was there and I said, you know, I just had one of these fades. So the surgeon come is talking to me. He says, you know, I think you need the pacemaker. And that seemed to me extreme. I mean, really, I mean, I've been getting along all right, with these fades and he said, well, you can continue to walk on the precipice if you teach too. So I just stayed in and had the pacemaker put in the next. And I haven't had any fades since then. I think of elderly as in from, and I don't want to be in from, I, I cannot run upstairs anymore. I mean, I have to walk. Um, and, uh, no, I still even w I do gentle yoga with Denise. I don't feel old when I do that. Um, No, I don't think I feel old. And the elder, I think of what I think of elder. I think somebody that has some respect and I feel like, uh, I get that from my daughters and my grand, my three grand kids. Uh, and so I liked that. I think they honor me as a person. Grown older, uh, gracefully and with pap. And, uh, they still like my daughters and I go on trips together. You know, we went to Nashville for my birthday, for my 79th birthday and we went dancing and we just had the greatest time. We, we squeezed it in between the tornado and the start of the shutdown. We made it in there and that little. And we just had a great time. It was living joyfully.