You know, some of you out there have family or friends or acquaintances in an Independent, Assisted Living or Nursing Home era of life. Many of them have lived good long lives. I remember one sweet little lady who had just celebrated her 97th birthday and her son kept shouting, “3 more years! 3 more years!” He wanted her to live to be 100. She shook her head and said, “Marge, he has no idea what life here is like. I simply want to go Home. This is not living. It is existing. My living years are long over.” And yes. She did go Home just a couple of months after celebrating her 97th.
Let her statement resonate for a moment.
Another lady here on the South campus is out walking before any daylight shows up and walks and walks and walks all day long, stopping just long enough to go in and sit and wait for Breakfast, lunch or dinner for an HOUR or more before serving time. WHAT AN EMPTY LIFE. What she could do for others here on the campus.Then she doesn’t eat here. She scoops it all up into one dish and takes it home and while I have Od out for his walk, I see her start walking again. Even when she sits and waits, she will get up and take her walker and walk through the Dining Room at least 2 or 3 times. Addicted. Not a compliment in my eyes. She just turned 90. What a waste!!!
Me? I find it difficult to find much time to sit and twiddle my thumbs, nor do I want to. One day a gal, 94, came over and banged on the door and when I opened it I said “WHAT do you want!!” She said, “wanna play Canasta?” I said, “HEAVENS, NO!!!!” I have my church. I have my work with P2C. I am not one that wants to constantly be with someone or doing something. I’m just not.
Now having said all of the above, I hear some of you on the “outside” of our world say, “You are so perky. You are going to have many more years”. DON’T SAY THAT!! No one, including me wants to hear that. It is not the truth. We are existing as per God’s timing for us. There are many here whose only thing they have to look forward to is the next meal. No family. No friends. No church. Nothing. Then someone comes along who really knows nothing and says what I have written above. I don’t want to hear it. Nor do others.
Personally I know how many aches and pains I have that no one ever knows about, nor will you find out. It is useless to tell you and so as best as I can you will see me as per the last time you saw me, if you can remember when that was.
So many of us here would give any thing to be able to have one day to do anything we want to as we once did but it can never be that way again. Even in taking a shower. Many in JT’s are gotten up by 6am just to get that shower out of the way early. Everyone there is on the shower schedule and you have your set time for it, like it or not and only once a week. Many of them there want more than any thing to simply sleep later. We are all here not because we want to be, but because we need to be. So try to understand and not say things that we inwardly do not wish to hear even though you may think differently. Remember, you are still driving, cooking, washing, going to the store, going to Savers maybe, and dozens of other things that one day like us, you will no longer be able to do.
So…… make the most out of what you do with your life. Enjoy. But make your life useful and have a life that leads you to be a thermostat and not a thermometer.
Next time then. Marge