Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Growing Up and Growing Old

I wish that when I was a kid, I realized just how good I had it. Footloose and fancy free. My biggest responsibility was practicing piano or doing homework.

As you get older, you acquire more responsibilities which leaves less time for fun. It's an unfortunate reality. However, I've decided that worse than growing up is growing old.

I have watched the steady decline of my Grammie's health recently. She is still rather independent but relies more on a cane (and subsequently a walker) and requires more assistance from her family and friends than she did before. I can see the frustration on her face and hear it in her voice when she wishes she could "trade in her legs for a good pair". How discouraging it must be when your body fails you. In your mind you can feel like a 20 year old but the reality is that ankles swell, knees get stiff and organs don't work as efficiently as they once did.

Visiting Grammie used to mean that she might take me somewhere special or I would get a treat. Now I take her somewhere special or bring her a treat. Slowly, the tables have turned. We both still enjoy our time together but it is a different role I play now.

This weekend we attended the Victorian Tea at the Moore Museum. It had been on the calendar for months and we had the perfect day. Beautiful sunny skies, a lovely afternoon at the museum my Grandad worked so hard to establish and we finished off the day with french fries by the river. I loved our day together and I know she loved it too. Just as a kid I would anticipate Grammie taking me somewhere special and eagerly awaiting the big day, it is now her turn to be taken out for the day.

I hope you take the time to appreciate the seniors in your life. Spend time listening to their stories, encouraging them when they get down and don't forget to take them out for a special day now and again.

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