Catching a Dose of Old Age in the Retirement Home
Nowadays when I sit in the lounge or the auditorium and look around at the residents in the retirement home, I understand that I am not the youngest person here. It makes me feel better. I’m also not the oldest. That makes me feel much better. I am somewhere in between, at some sort of anonymous, indeterminate age, neither here nor there. I have also come to understand that I will not “catch” old age because of my surroundings. It’s not one’s surroundings that add the years to one; it’s the grandchildren who flaunt their spectacular growth rates before our eyes.
“I remember when,” you say to a grandson stretching up to pat him on the head which is somewhere over 6 feet high. Or you say, “I held you on my knee,” to the university student who drives her own car. And the grandchild you once helped tie a shoelace or the bow in her doll’s hair is now the one you call when your computer refuses to obey your commands. Back in 1952 you did a course in motor car mechanics, so that you would understand what makes your car go. Today, if it won’t budge you call a grandson; he’ll know how to get your stubborn car to move.
It’s a gentle process, this growing old business. If you’re lucky healthwise there will be few serious bumps in the road and you won’t feel anything. No “growing-down” pains like there were once “growing-up” pains. Good genes are also a great asset in the aging business and then there is that ever-present factor – good luck. If you are already in the old-age business, make the most of it.