I went to lunch today, sitting across from us was a table with 4 elderly gals & guys having lunch together. They seemed to be having some great conversation, laughing and smiling. I found myself watching them and I said that they were “sweet & cute”, which I was told is usually never the term that is given to our seniors. I look at them and will talk to them, no matter where I am. I have found that some have amazing stories to tell you, memories, history, life lessons that they have learned. I value the time spent with them and enjoy every conversation I have with them. I have always learned something from just sitting down and having a conversation with a senior.
As a child, I got to know my next door neighbor, a very nice lady named “Marie”, she was 80 years young and dyed her hair bright red. She shared a house with a single father who traveled a lot for work. She took care of his house and his kids for him. She would invite me in and we would sit and talk about anything, everything, her love of birds, the jobs that she used to do when she was young. She was an old vaudeville girl from New York, and she had the photo albums to prove it. I would sit for hours and listen to her stories and look at her pictures. We would go sit at the kitchen table, she had it pushed up against a window and had bird feeders set up right where you could watch all the birds come feed. She loved birds! These conversations were very precious to me because I had the privilege of knowing her for 3 years before she passed away. This friendship made me appreciate our seniors and I have always had a special place in my heart for them since.
My friend Morgans grandmother was 83 years old when she came to live with him. He wasnt prepared for the volume of time that it took to care for her and hired people to come take her to her doctor appointments, out shopping, to lunch, to run errands, etc. Most of them hated taking care of her, and acted like it was a huge inconvenience. During one of my visits to their house, I made the comment I would do it and would have no problem doing it, I just loved talking to her and spending time with her. That was the beginning of my relationship with Zelda. She was a wonderful woman, and I had a couple of years with her before she ended up in the nursing home and then passing away. I would go visit her there, it broke my heart to see her changed, and to see her suffering. She lived to the ripe young age of 93 years young. When I look at my relationship with her, she taught me so many things and I learned so much from her. I learned that she was an active part of history in the state of Washington. She was the first woman to run for specific offices and had done a lot of charity work, spent a lot of time traveling and her husband was the original owner of John Deer Tractor. They had traveled around the world. That both her & her husband had gone to college, about their first house, about moving into a run down house on the lake where they fixed it up to a beautiful home and that was where her husband died, at the lake house in their bedroom, overlooking the lake. All the amazing stories that she told is history, they were life experiences and I found them all to be interesting and amazing. The times were different, and simple but they were her life and she shared them freely. I treasure my time that I got to spend with her , glad to have had those moments and memories with her.
Take a minute and spend some time with a senior, if not for the great conversation that most of them will give to you freely but also to learn a few life lessons along the way.