A year ago, when my daughter was moving, my husband and I showed up to help. There were a few of her friends, but she needed our help. I noticed everybody would interfere, "I'll get that", when I tried to haul something heavier than a table lamp. At first I thought this is cool, they're being gallant, until I noticed the younger women were hauling heavy stuff.
It made me sad. What did they see when they looked at me. I spent my entire life at my husband's side doing manual labor. I climbed ladders and roofed houses. I installed siding, windows, doors. I was the other side of plywood and drywall when there was only the two of us.
Over the weekend he cut down a tree with a chain saw, and I picked up and hauled the wood for burning. We're still a team, and when he needs help. lifting, nailing, and sanding, I'm his girl Friday. I can handle the other half of whatever he can lift.
We're almost 60, we're gray and wrinkled. But there's still plenty of life left in us. I'm not old either. I'm elderly. I won't let anybody treat me like an old lady again. Until I don't remember I'm not old.