Look at the beauty and dignity in this woman’s face.
My brother-in-law just sent out a family email saying how much he hates old people. He was having to deal with an old guy in a home owner’s association scenario. I promptly responded that irrationality and stupidity were not confined to any particular age group and he himself probably qualified as one of the “old” people he denigrated.
We are a youth-oriented culture unlike Native Americans who revere their elderly and even consider people with “mental” challenges to be special or gifted. My 23 and Me says that even though I have about 80 registered actual Native American relatives on their site, my DNA didn’t much come from them (possible, I guess), but somehow I’ve always connected with them and it must be that I am a descendant of some (my ancestors came from Canada) and something about their thinking has always struck home.
My father has Parkinson’s Disease. Yesterday I had to tell him he just had to start using a walker all the the time because he is falling repeatedly. He didn’t speak to me all day. It broke my heart. The neighbors hint all the time he should be in assisted living, but that is his decision. He can stay home forever and care can be given to him there, even if he runs out of money. I’ll be there more and more, but we’ve erred on the side of not taking away his dignity. We’re getting him a road ready golf cart so he can get around town and I hope he understands how much we still respect him.
I stopped teaching a while back in anticipation of him needing more (but I also have an adult son with Down Syndrome and at the time another son newly diagnosed with Testicular Cancer) and I needed to be able to be mobile rather than tied to university constraints. Teaching online exclusively wasn’t an option, so I lost my place in the queue. But I do not want to invade my father’s privacy before absolutely necessary and before he wants me there. Despite the tongue-wagging of all the neighbors. I take him to his doctor appointments because it’s hard for him to keep track of things and/or understand it all. And I spend increasingly more time with him. But his time is alone is winding down. Nobody knows it better than he does. At times, he’s quiet and he can be trying. But he’s earned the right.
Young people are not smarter or less trouble, in fact, they are not as smart in almost all areas (if more idealistic) they are just more easily tolerated. If people aren’t young and attractive looking, they seem to be irrelevant to us. It’s like they simply disappear. “Never trust anyone over 30” seems even more than ever to be our national mantra, as if old people have nothing to contribute (I particularly resent the OLD part of the current denigration of “old white men.”) Though I don’t like denigrating ANY group of people in its entirety, and minorities especially should know what that’s like).
(I DO, however, criticize many fundamentalist religions that subjugate women– though I consider myself a spiritual person, any religion in which all the members are not afforded equal status is a CULT in my opinion, which includes most of them. But that’s another subject).
At any rate, I hope everyone thinks today about the elders in their lives and what they’ve contributed to our society and to our lives personally. Someday, they’ll be in their shoes.
Food: Franks and beans for Dad tonight. I’ll have some eggs and some Italian sausage, some salad along the way. My fabulous KickAss coffee. (Not KissAss, ha). Great stuff by Kicking horse coffee.
No sun again (or very little) today in “sunny” Florida. And a bit chilly. 69 and breezy. Hope for better tomorrow.