As I enter the stage of life called “aches and pains,” I am sometimes rewarded with a girlish moment.
I went to visit my mother-in-law in the assisted living facility shortly after we moved her in there. I tried especially hard to get her involved in activities that were age appropriate. She was, after all, 94 years old, so I didn’t think she needed to learn how to play bridge or try Zumba. But she could go to the sing-alongs, play bingo for 25 cents a game, and sit at the big puzzle table with other ladies and gents and gently touch the pieces while looking for their ideal slot.
So off we would go to the activity of the day. I didn’t mind playing bingo or helping with rudimentary crafts, And I loved ice cream sundae Wednesday. Yeah, that was pretty terrific. My mother-in-law loved that too. We shared a common appetite for a good sundae on Wednesday.
I would go two or three times a week, just to make sure she wasn’t sitting in her apartment sleeping while watching TV. My mother-in-law was a very social person. She was charming and enjoyed talking to people. The aides loved her because she was kind and she was interested in what you had to say. I wanted to encourage her to have places to go and people to talk with.
I became a ‘regular’. A certain contingent of the locals who engaged in the same activities were friendly and chatty with me on all my visits.
On some days, I might be dressed up, if I were going to or coming from a business meeting. It would be like CHEERS when I would go through the lobby, the activites room, the dining hall ,or down to the nurses station. People who lived there and worked there would say, “hey”, “hello”, “Hi Cathy, how are you?” Very pleasant ,indeed.
On this day, I was looking pretty spiffy, and went down to the mailboxes to check for my mother-in-law’s mail. As I exited the elevator, there was a gentlemen, who I didn’t know, walking slowly with a cane coming towards me with a small pile of mail in his hands.
“Hello,” I said.
“Hello,” he said.
I thought just in that moment I detected a little sparkle in his eye. Charming, I thought.
“Well,” I said, “I see my timing is perfect.”
I glanced down at the mail in his hands to indicate that I had come just in time to get today’s mail.
“Your timing is absolutely perfect, ” he said.
I swear to you, he looks me up and down, a smile of approval slowly spreads across his withered face and he said:
“Are YOU moving in here?”
I would have flicked my hair, but it’s short. I just gave him my best girlish laugh, shook my finger at him, and moved to the mailboxes.
You just have to Laugh…….