31 August 2010 ~ 1 Comment

Eighty Six Years Young

I am fortunate enough to have a very cool mother. We are friends and I don’t think we’ve ever had a real battle.  A tiff when I was in High School, maybe.

Ruthie, my mother just turned 86 years young this past week. I was lucky enough to be able to go home to see her in Ohio. Everyone that knows my mother thinks the world of her. My friends call her mom. She’s easy, flexible, fun, and loves to laugh. She is open minded, non judging, and doesn’t think or act like an old person. She just happens to be in an older body.

My nephew, my mothers grandson, invited my mom and I to go to a karaoke bar with him and his girlfriend. We were flattered that they would want us old fogies to join them. For real? Grandma and Aunt Amy?  My mother piped up “Sure, Why not?”  I hate karaoke but if Grandma is going then I guess I’m going too.

We piled in the car with our Budweiser Mardi Gras beads on and off we went  to this little sports bar. We got there and Lady Gaga was jammin on the karoke machine.. We sat with a group of my nephews friends and my mother who could barely climb up on her stool, sat with a smile on her face. She loved being out at night and somewhere new. The four of us sang New York New York together which sounded pretty bad but made us laugh.

When we deal with the elderly I think it’s easy to forget that they were once young. We look at them as if they’ve always been old. We don’t think that they have much to offer us anymore. If we would only ask them we would find out otherwise. Most elderly people that I’ve talked to have lots to share if you give them the opportunity.

My mom’s world is quite small these days and she doesn’t have anyone to do things with especially in the evening. Most of her friends have passed on and the ones that are still with us aren’t quite as adventurous as she is. I believe they stay home at night and knit. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. My mom would rather be out at night enjoying a play or a concert or just about anything for that matter.

I’m always thinking of what I can do to bring joy to my mother. It’s hard living so far away but when we get together I try to go out of my way to see that she has a good time and hopefully give her some kind of a new experience. When she comes to Asheville we always make it a point to hang out at the drum circle. She loves it and I often catch her grooving to the beat while tapping her hands on her legs.

Why is it that many of us volunteer for organizations to help others but don’t see that our own mother down the street is lonely.  We don’t think to ask our own mother if she needs help with the lawn or other piddly things that might be hard for her to do, but we’ll go work at the soup kitchen.  How about taking mom out once in a while to somewhere she’s never been before. Put yourself in her shoes and feel how she may be feeling. The elderly spend a lot of time alone. We’re so busy with our lives that we don’t always think about how many hours they sit at home by themselves. It’s all about awareness. Giving joy to others brings the joy back to you.

Experience Joy And Pass It On!

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One Response to “Eighty Six Years Young”

  1. breah 31 August 2010 at 11:38 am Permalink

    I love this, Amy! Heartwarming.


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