One of the strangest and nicest experiences that has come out of my having to ‘give up’ work and care for my teenage son on a full time basis, is the fact I have had the time to reconnect with the most important people around me.
Whilst I was busy working, succeeding and achieving my personal ambitions, my parents became the ultimate, exquisite and most trustworthy babysitters for my children.
When my daughter became clingy, I reduced my hours to 25 per week, (mostly school time) but with the inevitable (and many) late nights.
My parents were phenomenal.
Cooking tea, caring and being ‘guidance’ for my children until my husband or I, came home.
I have always adored my parents.
My father is an amazing ‘brain’ whose work took us around the world.
I was lucky enough to experience different countries and cultures whilst I was growing up.
My mother is a well educated person who chose to ‘stay at home’ and ‘just’ deliver morals, rules, guidance but most of all a stability that encompassed all that love is.
But, after talking to my parents and my mother in law recently, I realise there is something so sad about the ‘being old’ that actually scares us all, if we were ever honest with ourselves.
Everyone knows, they are going to die –
Everyone knows that there may be illness before they go –
All we every want, is to die pain free with grace, dignity and respect –
I am an advocate of enjoying ageing –
If your are LUCKY enough to age, you have had an amazing life (I have seen many new born babies in cancer units – they face endless amount of pain and suffering even before their fate is sealed) therefore, trust me, age is wonderful.
But when we approach ‘the elderly’ what do we see?
Dithering, old, faceless, annoying, white haired people that are in our way?
“How dare they be on the roads or in the supermarket at the weekend!”
If this is how you feel I will share with you all one story that has stayed me for many years. –
Whilst I was a trainer, I was sent into a care home for the elderly to work with the staff there–
I was working in the homes dining area and an elderly lady wandered in.
I have always been mindful that this was ‘their’ home, so residents were always welcome to join with the groups I was working with.
This particular elderly lady had dementia but showed no outward signs of it, in fact this lady was a picture of stature and grace.
She picked up all of my files and started talking to the group that I had assembled.
“Yes very good”
“I'll have my next appointment in a moment”
She then looked me straight in the eye for many moments before finally saying
”mmmm very good you may carry on “
After she had walked on (still with my paperwork in her hand) I was informed that this particular lady had been a leading eye consultant and that many of the procedures and discoveries she had found were still in existence today.
All I'm saying is this - next time some ‘old person annoys you, drives slow on a road or generally gets in your way – remember
They were the ‘movers and shakers’ of their day – they fought in wars, developed most of the things you see around you, wrote songs, directed films and raised a generation of children.
They are YOU now –
They just have more aches and pains than you, their joints hurt and they know the ‘young’ class them as annoying idiots.
If you are lucky enough, you will age and be ‘them’ in a few years
So therefore, have a little more patience and a ton of respect.