Shuffling a little slower now

-Elderly couple comfort each other

-Elderly couple comfort each other (Photo credit: Gordon T Lawson)

They walked out of CVS together, cars impatiently waiting for them to make their way slowly through the crosswalk.  I watched the struggle with empathy, silently imagining what their long history together might have entailed.  They both approached the car and she slowly and carefully got in the passenger side.  He opened the driver’s side car door wincing, as if the mere action of pulling it open caused him pain.  Then, he took his time to gently fold himself down into the seat.  After several minutes, they were on their way.

My eyes see an elderly couple; the lady had white hair and a matching polyester outfit gracing her petite frame, full makeup and glasses and sensible shoes.  She had a plastic bag sporting the store logo in her hand and the contents, 2 boxes of frosted flakes,were visible.  I smiled.  The man was stooped over, bald and moved as though arthritis or some other painful disease was taking its toll on him.  I could see the vexation in his eyes as he struggled to do the small tasks that only a few years ago were likely very easy for him.

As they drove away, their mouths moving in conversation, I began to wonder if they felt as old as they looked.  I wondered if there are things they can no longer do, and if that frustrates them greatly.  I thought about children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and wondered if they had any of these and if so, did they visit?  Were the boxes of frosted flakes for them or their grandchildren?  Were their lives happy ones or did they face each day with increasing loneliness or fear at what the future holds?

I remember a time, not long ago in the grand scheme of things, when my first thought may have been that they probably shouldn’t even be driving and I may have been one of those impatient drivers in the crosswalk, rushing about.  As I grow older myself, my patience increases and my compassion grows.  I am reminded once again, that life is short.  We need to live out every moment and love the ones God has placed in our lives, to tell them and to show them each and every day.  Life can be stressful and we are all too busy with so many things that don’t really matter.  Can we show more respect, love and appreciation to the elderly in our community?

I know how it can feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  Sometimes you do make the time to reach out and love.  You may call or visit or write, yet, the person on the receiving end doesn’t seem to appreciate it or you feel like it’s never enough.

Whatever the case, do it anyway.  Make a day brighter, help quench the pangs of loneliness.  For you and I, my friends, will be there soon enough.

Comments

  1. karen dalton says:

    The best yet. xoxo

  2. This was beautiful. I’ve always loved the elderly – they have so much wisdom and history to share with us… And now, at 52, my grandchildren are amazed at how things were in the “old days” when I was young – lol! I really enjoyed your story. It was well written and very thought provoking. God bless you!

    Love,
    Cheryl

  3. My current journey has me providing care for a friends aged parents–yesterday celebrating with family and friends their combined birthdays. His 88th and her 75th. Health concerns make every celebration full to the brim as it may be either one’s last. Your blog helped remind me to be patient. Thanks.

  4. Your writing is getting better all the time. I think this is my favorite so far..Proud of you. I remember you telling us about your goals at the Boggess reunion and you are heading in that direction..Keep up the good work..I want to be able to read your first published book one day…

    .

  5. Beautiful!

  6. Reblogged this on Long walks and dark chocolate.

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