Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Old people can spice up your life

I thought about the title of this post.  Does it sound mean to use the words "old people"? I didn't mean it to.  Maybe I'll coin a more apropos title before I'm done.

Today I've had a few moments to contemplate age.  It's my dad's birthday.  He is 79.  I posted a picture of him onto my FB page where he is 35.  He looks like a different man.  In the shot I'm a little toddler sitting on his lap.  He's not the dad I remember here.  The dad I know, perpetual dad as I think of him, is 50 years old.  It's the age he was when I was in high school.  No matter how old he gets, when I call him on the phone, the person on the other end looks like perpetual dad.  When I step off a plane and real-time dad is waiting at the gate, I'm shocked at the person greeting me.  He's so different than that picture I have stored in my mind. Of course, it's not scary or mind-blowingly strange, just something my brain has done.  It's imprinted and will always need some tweeking.

Last week I got to spend some time with a gal I met at work and have continued a friendship with, who is, well, sort of old.  She's 80.  I love visiting her because she's always so charmed to see me.  She opens up her home, she offers me copious amounts of tea, she asks if I want to play cards or work on puzzles.  She gives me her full attention when I'm there.  That's something you don't get very often by ANYBODY these day.  I've stopped bringing my phone in when I visit her because it is such a huge distraction and I'm irritated by it.  I always leave her house feeling like I'm the one who got the better end of the bargain.

If you spend any time with an "old" person you will immediately understand why you should make this a part of your life.  They are kind.  (Yes, they can be cranky. How would you feel if your body stopped doing all the things you thought it should do?)  But man, they can tell a great tale.  They know things that you don't.  They've experienced life in a way that you haven't.  The men usually have an amazing fashion sense.  Ask an older gent about a pocket square, you'll get an earful.  Ask the same guy about shining shoes -- that's another tail that could lead to good places.
Or his first job or the good God ---- THE WAR!  These are amazing stories that are dying to be told.

Let's face it.  We are all getting old. Someday I will be the person waiting for my bell to ring.  I hope someone comes to hear MY stories.  I'm terrified no one will.  Yep, it can sometimes be difficult.  You may have to repeat yourself.  You may have to fine tune those ears to really REALLY listen to what the person is saying. Try it.  Not because you're some saintly person earning accolades or brownie points, but because its something amazing that's just waiting for you.


1 comment:

  1. I am thankful everyday that we were fortunate to have our grandparents til they were in their 80's&90's. I could spend my entire day listening and helping the elderly. They really are the ones to cherish......
    very nice post Sharon, very nice indeed.