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Donna Gets it Right ----


GranGran Holding Court

WITH MY GRANDFATHER, (GranGran, as we affectionately call him) in the hospital, thoughts concerning aging and the elderly have consumed me.

GranGran is not doing well. In fact, the doctors say he’ll probably be spending his remaining earthly days in the hospital. My GranGran is 88, and up until a few weeks ago, he was still driving his car and getting around on his own. This was only in the late morning, mind you, either to McDonalds or to a church breakfast.

It is understood as a medical fact that women live longer than men. So an 88-year old man who still can still use his car to go to a church breakfast is doing OK. And doing pretty well with the Ladies, I might add. When he does frequent McDonalds, (my Mom and Aunt Ann call it “holding court”) he sits at the head of a long table surrounded by several ladies, all vying for his undivided attention.

My Mom, my Aunt Ann, (Ann Bew HSHS class of 1970) and I went shopping the day after Thanksgiving a year or so ago, and we decided to drop by McDonalds and check out the action. We stood there for a few minutes, unnoticed, just to watch. It was quite a sight to see. GranGran really WAS holding court!

It’s just so funny the differences in watching a table of teens as opposed to a table of the elderly. We all know how a table of teenagers behave. But watching older ladies and gentlemen….. they act so dignified. They DO laugh out loud, but then they cover their mouths so as not to disturb others, which they don’t anyway. They seem to genuinely listen to each other with concern. They don’t interrupt each other, and you certainly don’t hear any four letter words uttered. It is probably the only time of day they get to spend with each other, and they have to clear out before the younger lunch crowd converges on their private elder world.

HOW WELL DO WE really respect the elderly? I know I don’t a lot of the time. There is the saying “Respect your elders”, but most of the time it’s said in jest by someone probably not more than 10 years older than you. Or when someone lets you ahead of them and says “age before beauty”, making the age part the joke. I find myself fussing when I’m behind an elderly driver or when I’m behind them shopping or walking. They drive too slow, the walk too slow they do almost everything too slow.

Now I’m starting to ask myself, what the heck am I rushing for? Life really is too short; we ALL need to slow down.

Some hard facts have been entering my head. In just 20 years, I’ll be OFFICIALLY elderly, even though I sometimes feel that way now. The thought of getting old sometimes scares me to death. But it really shouldn’t, these people are just as lively and vibrant as they can be.

My GranGran has been seeing a very nice lady. When I first asked him about her, she said “well, she’s a lot younger than me…..she’s 72.”

Until next time….


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