Those of us in our 70’s and 80’s, are the “elderly” they are referring to in the media. We don’t think of ourselves as that? We are cooking up a storm, taking our walks, taking care of our spouses, if we are still lucky enough to have one, and figuring out how to meander through this new life we have been thrown into. We have time to read one book after another and to pass them on to our friends as they do to us. We watch and read the news until one day we have had enough. Netflix becomes our new best friend and the newest shows are what we try to discuss, instead of politics. “What are you watching?” We ask one another, and write down, studiously, what to watch next. We can’t wait to pass on a good documentary or series. This is what our life is about now. We help our neighbors who need us, and ask for help if we need it, but we are doing it, nevertheless. We are cheering on our children and grandchildren and appreciating every turn their lives take. We look at their journey in wonder and nod to ourselves and say, “it is their world now,” a little wistfully at times, I must admit, but always with great admiration. We reach out to our dear friends and realize that though the circle might get smaller, those of us in it are precious to one another. We didn’t get it, before this crazy world started, how much a phone conversation between friends could mean. A drop off at the door of someone else’s home cooked meal, is like a bouquet of the sweetest roses. Maybe this entire Pandemic was to shake up our senses, otherwise, what possible sense could it make? We have losses, because at our age, people are leaving us for the next world. We are learning how to accept loss in all forms. Loss of friends, loss of youth, loss of strength, and so it goes.
Life is harder and easier at the same time right now, harder, because we are caught inside our four walls without a gathering of our flock but easier because our calendars are mostly bare except for a zoom call or two. Life continues. We replace the dishwasher, pay the plumber and the TV man and look around the house to see how we can make it more comfortable. Our homes become our world. We are not expected anywhere. We walk from one room to another as if it were in a different location. We play cards. And dominoes. We play music, we do anything not to turn on the TV for a while. What luxery! I know younger people don’t have that luxery
because it is their turn to be busy with their children and help solve the world problems. It is our turn to observe and enjoy. No, don’t tune out, that’s not what I mean. We want to leave this world we live in a better place for our children and grandchildren. We help, however we can. We stay interested and mentor whomever wants our wisdom. We won’t see what will become of our future generations and the world they will inhabit, but that’s alright! I’m confident they will do a miraculous job!
I want to tell all my friends out there who are at such great “risk:” don’t forget, we are still tough; we are able to keep ourselves mentally strong and ride through this. When this is all over, please God may that be soon, we will no longer be “the elderly at risk,” we shall return to doing whatever it is we do...and do well—whether it’s being a Nana, a Mother, a Papa or Dad a philanthropist, a wife, husband politician, entrepreneur, writer or artist. I don’t want us to think that this is our last “hoorah.” As usual, I just want this to be a blip in the road. I think we are going to come out into a kinder world. One where we will not only appreciate our first responders more, but love our neighbors, friends, family and appreciate every kind gesture that is done for us. We will want to look for ways to help others. I don’t think we will come out to the same world that we knew, where we took a lot of things for granted, and that’s a good thing. You can feel the need for friendship and the love of people in the air. I’m looking forward to the life that’s going to be shown to us and that we are going to partake in. So, buck up, my sisters and brothers in aging. Let’s cook our new dishes, send for takeout, social distance with our friends, wear our masks, look forward to the quarantine lessening, and our world opening slowly in the near future to a newer, kinder life.
People, at our age, have many mountains yet to climb, large or small, we will climb them! You will see!
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