On Growing Older
In the Biblical times old people were honored. It was just part of ancient culture. Youth culture today, with its music, social media and latest fads would be incomprehensible to people who lived in ancient Israel.
My job at Pinnacle is called “Associate for Senior Adults.” I didn’t quite know what that meant when I was first hired on. But now I have a better grasp of what that means. I have learned what it means from so many older people I teach regularly, visit in hospitals, and talk to informally.
A few years ago I pulled into Walgreen’s Drug Store in our neighborhood. I parked in a space where there were two empty spaces on either side. I went into the store, got my prescription and walked back to my car. When I got there I saw that there was another car parked unbelievalbly close to my car....so close in fact that the front right wheel of the other vehicle was actually touching the front left wheel of my car. I couldn’t even get inside my car on the driver’s side. I was furious thinking, “Who was the idiot who parked so close?”
Then an old woman came doddering out of the store, walked up to the offending car and said, “Oh my, did I park too close to you?”
Immediately it all came into focus. She wasn’t even aware that she had parked so close. She probably should not be driving any more. Perhaps her children were trying to take her keys away. It reminded me of the saying, “To know all is to forgive all.”
I said to her, “It’s quite all right. But do you mind if I take your keys and back your car up so you can get it.” She sweetly handed me her keys. I gently backed her car up, moved it where she could get in, then high tailed it out of the parking lot before she could start her engine!
My mother is no longer able to drive. She has short-term memory issues. I have learned to adjust to her frailties. I even surprise my wife with my patience with my mom.
I realize that someday far soon I may be like my mom. Until then I want her to have love and dignity, as I want for all our seniors at Pinnacle.
I think it’s pretty cool that Pinnacle established a position serving senior adults. Somebody once upon a time remembered how the Bible thinks about old people, and said, “You know, Pinnacle ought to do the same.”