We will all be old one day....

Yesterday I was at the checkout at the supermarket and helped a teeny tiny elderly lady to unload and reload her trolley.  The little dear was about 6 stone wringing wet and was so tiny she could hardly reach into the bottom of her trolley.  She didn't ask for help but I offered and she accepted.

So once she had left to get in her taxi, the checkout gal commented that I had more patience than she did and I replied ....

"we'll all be old one day"
"not me" she replied
"have you got other plans then" I asked
"well I won't be old, I mean look at Cher she's like 60 or 80 or something and she's so good for her age"

I laughed out loud!  Hard!

I am sure Cher would have a coronary if she heard that someone thought she was 80!  After all the cash she has spent trying to look young!  I checked it out and Cher is actually 65.  It really tickled me. 

Image from Wikipedia (Cher in 2010)

With the comedy also came a touch of sadness at the disaste the check out girl had for old age.  Maybe it's just me, but when I see an elderly person I have such a huge amount of respect for them and a genuine pang of warmth towards them.  Life can be hard, with all its twists and turns and lessons to be learned and for people who have lived through war and hardships, life was harder than I could imagine.  I have a lot of respect for people who have lived to a ripe old age, I really do.

So with the sadness was also a bit of anger that someone could not see all this.  There was also some fear that when I am old will someone think of me like that?
I was so fortunate to have my own Nan until I was 24 and she was an amazing lady.  We always lived close to her and I saw her practically every day.  When she was sick she stayed with us and I shared a room with her.  I was lucky to have been able to do this.  She didn't have a lot but I saw that every day she was grateful for the things she did have, she kept an immaculately clean house although I never saw her cleaning!  She was feisty when she needed to be and yet calm, gentle and wise.  Oh the widsom!  And she had a beautiful laugh that made her blue eyes squint up and get watery.  I loved that woman so very much and have so many beautiful memories of her. 

So the thought of someone treating her with impatience or being angry with her because she wasn't operating as fast as they would have liked... well it makes me angry.  And I guess that is where my sentiment for the elderly comes from.  Every elderly person is someone's family member.  Every elderly person has a story and has lived through adversity.  Every elderly person has got wisdom within them from their multitude of experiences.  And all this deserves respect... surely?

I turned 37 the other day and I get a little shock sometimes when I say it out loud.  Last time I checked I was 26!  I'd have loved to have asked my Nan how old she felt.  I bet some days she felt her age when her body was aching but I mean inside, how old did she feel?  And how old did the teeny tiny lady in the supermarket feel? 

So if by some small miracle you're reading this and you are one of the impatient people, please try and remember than no-one wants to feel old and slow.  No-one wants to not be able to do all the things they once were able to do.  No-one wants to feel like a burden who needs to rely on others.  And when someone is like this, be gentle and patient with them for one day you too will be old......

The End


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