I took an old lady out to lunch the other day. Seriously. I can say "an old lady" because she truly is and would consider herself as such. She is 92. She still drives, still has an upstairs apartment, still takes care of herself for the most part. She has definite ideas about how things are and how she wants her surroundings. She is tenacious about her home and set on the color she wants on her nails. She would love to be included in conversations but unfortunately cannot hear most. She has a great sense of humor and laughs at herself along with prodding others with a joke. Her body wants to stop and seize up and she will simply not allow it. Her fingers are riddled with arthritis and every ring she can get on. Her jewelry will wear out and not stay in the box. Her hair will always be done at the same time and she will always have a shampoo set and the ocassional perm with the same color toner.
Some have considered her overbearing and pushy as a younger woman. I say that is the very reason she is still alive and kicking.
She has taught me so much. Her family has taught me as well. You see, the very time that I think I know why someone is so headstrong and stubborn my impression will usually be incorrect. When this lady will say "You have to leave now? I so wish you could stay" she does not mean that your visit isn't good enough and that you will never be as pleasing to her as you would like. She is merely saying "I have so loved your visit and I just don't want it to come to an end."
And when she says "I never have company. I want the holidays to be over because they make me sad" she is not saying that she is a humbug. She is remembering all the other holidays in her life when she was surrounded by so many that have now passed on. She remembers her husband, mother, father, siblings, cousins. She is the only one left. She is simply reminded at the holidays that she is "alone".
Her family feels that she has judged them. Her family feels that their actions are never enough, never to her liking. I have learned that she is simply incapable of stating things in any other way. She will choose her words as she always has her entire long life.
I see the strength in her when others may see her weakness. When her body will not perform or the door that she is attempting to open will simply not budge since it weighs more than she does she is not weak. She is simply frail in body but such strength in her being. She has to be a realist at this stage. Fantasy will not serve her now. Reality is her friend.
What strength it must take to rise every morning, greet the day and choose in. So many "greater" ones have chosen out.
I admire this cantankerous set-in-her-ways lady. I love her home. It echoes of all that have held items there literally through the ages. Her tenacity rings in my heart and she teaches me.
So I will not neglect the simple time to take her to lunch, cut her steak, pack her to-go box, sit and visit in her sweet apartment and eat whatever treat she chooses to give me. I will send her a card in the mail because that is what she accustomed to. Mail. In the mailbox.
Every time I see her I choose to learn. I choose to love her and honor her.
Sharing it seals the deal.
Monday, December 27, 2010
|I heard some tinkling in the other room...went in to see what it was...|
He doesn't even look or act sorry at all. And he wasn't. Until I took it away and put his stocking out of reach.
Posted by Mary Ellen at 8:25 AM
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