Did you read “Dear Abby’s” column published a few weeks ago? At 91 years of age, “Old Geezer Out West” had written, from the heart, what he was feeling.
“I’ve outlived many of my family members and long-time friends” and how social events are few and far between because advanced age and distance have made it almost impossible to see those who are left. He further stated that at a family gathering—and he looks forward to these—“when folks look up from their cell phones, they discover that I have something to contribute: I’ve lived through the Depression, several wars and a variety of inventions.”
This hit home and I’m now gently stepping up on my soap box (with moral support from a couple of close friends). Anyone who knows me or is familiar with my columns knows how precious my family is to me. When we are together, the love and affection is obvious and easily flows. The perfect example was my 80th birthday party when all my sons were with me for the first time in five years. I will never forget the happiness I felt—I was in heaven!
But what happens, though, in the course of the week and on the weekends? During the week, my sons are working and involved with their wives, kids, schedules and the like. We may celebrate a birthday and birthday dinner on a weekend, but more than likely, it’s quiet time for me. Saturday is errand day and then home to silence; I might go for brunch or lunch with friends on a Sunday but, again, I return to a quiet home. I fully understand and appreciate that my kids have families and their own lives and activities—their lives are full.
I would be content to get a phone call or even a text during the week or on the weekend: “How’re you doing, Mom?” “Do you have any medical tests on the horizon?” “Hey, how about having dinner with me one night next week?” I have the wisdom of 80 years—some good, some “eh.” Fortunately, I can still remember many events from childhood along with loving/funny/weird stuff about my folks and family members who’ve passed that I can share. Significantly in my mind, heart and soul, I have lots to offer and can contribute thoughts and opinions. Maybe I need to reach out more often to them—just a thought.
“Dear Abby” in her answer to “Old Geezer” summed it up as only she could: “Senior citizens have much wisdom to offer. They can also be great fun to be around. However, they are a diminishing resource. Geezer is right. They won’t be around forever, so engage with them while you can.”
Thank you, “Dear Abby” and “Old Geezer”—I needed a gentle push to say what I’ve been thinking and feeling for too long.