I’ve just been out with the dogs and along the way I noticed an elderly lady in front of me. She made me think about luck, health and loneliness. Her clothes were an outlandish mix of brightly patterned leggings, old lady sandals and astrakan coat. Just as I caught up with he,r she stopped a young woman and asked her if she would pull her shopping trolley up to the traffic lights at the junction. I paused a second and caught her eye, eyes with those drawn on eyebrows and bright red lips, but she ignored me. She probably wasn’t as old as I had thought, but she was razzled and had a cigarette dangling. The young woman talked to her so I carried on, wondering if she got the help she needed.
Around the next corner was my lovely old man, https://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/a-contrast-of-elderly-men/ chatting to a van driver. It’s been a couple of weeks since I saw him, so I was relieved and asked how he was. He assured me he was fine and turned to the van driver saying ‘Hers boodiful’, I laughed and tutted at him and carried on. My last encounter was with another really quite old lady, with her dog, who stopped to talk to Daisy and Dido. I’ve seen her before, but only exchanged Good mornings. Today she wanted to chat so we started with the weather. She had a walking stick and told me how she woke on Christmas day, in agony with her knee. She is having knee cap replacement surgery on Tuesday coming and was quite anxious. I tried to reassure her with stories of friends who had similar work done and said I’d see her in a couple of months good as new. Brave lady, I hope she makes a good recovery.
These lovely people make me so aware of how isolated the elderly can be, but I really enjoy talking to them and I know it makes such a huge difference to their lives. They may not have as many opportunities for chatting as I do – or as you do! If you come across people who may be glad of a smile and hello, I hope you will. We will all be old one day, if we’re lucky.
11 thoughts on “January Small Stone# Twelve”
Living in Florida, you become very aware of how lonely the elderly canb e. Family doesn’t live near-by. The one who do live near them have their own familiies and job plus the day to day struggles. They are very lonely. You are so right about that. Lovely story and Small Stone, Gilly.
A thoughtful small stone Gilly.
I think of the old joint families we grew up in with nostalgia. But I wouldn’t be able to live in one now either!
I enjoyed reading this post. Like the color of the green grass fades, so it is with aging. Aging (gerontology) is a beautiful part of life. I look forward to it and pray that during those years, I’m still left with my right frame of mind and health. Thank you for sharing your glimpse of the elderly.
It is very sad that there are so many of our elderly that are lonely. I talk to a few of the elderly ladies I see every morning in the park, lovely people but they do not have any family living close by.
heart warming stone today gilly, your words paint a rich picture of these encounters, i smile, and come with you into thoughts of being old and lonely, maybe poor, looking for a bright smile and a beautiful face to cheer me 🙂
A really good post, Gilly — and such an important truth for all of us to remember. I’m positive all of those people who encounter you on these ventures feel very blessed by that encounter.
Very beautiful and thoughtful stone, Gilly. Indeed we will all grow old if we are lucky. There is a saying in Akan that everyone has been a child before but not an adult.
You are so gracious and kind. It’s amazing how a greeting or a short chat can liven up the day for the elderly. To e acknowledged as still part of a community or of the world is very valuable.
You are a good person..I love the older people and we shall all be one.
Well done, Gilly, I remember my mother doing just this when I was young. I remember her saying that sometimes a passing stranger is the only voice an elderly person will hear all day. It’s something I try to do too now. A beautiful thought.