Sometimes my dad has not often been in a good mood lately. At 91 being a 24/7 care giver to my mom, in addition to other things, frays on his nerves and he hasn’t talked to me much lately. This morning however he did talk and beneath it all was a good feeling.
He shared that he and my mom went outside (big development in the middle of Manhattan) and sat on the bench around a playground set up for miniature tennis. He related that when I was a kid the different playgrounds would be used for different sports, whatever they were set up for. Now, the young newcomers just mixed it all up, doing all sorts of activities where they don’t belong. They just do what they want and don’t follow any rules. He said on the left and right of them on the bench were two widows with walkers. He had a walker and on the way to the bench came a third elderly person with a cane. She had fractured her hip, used a walker, then a cane, and now just carries the cane. My dad was the only man there, the other husbands all were deceased. He said that was strange. So they were the senior generation looking at what was following, and as he put it, it is not easy for seniors to adjust to what they see all the time. Quite an understatement.
I said it is very hard for me here in Florida to get used to so many people without manners. Rudeness prevails. I said it is better when he is able to use a walker, but I think he doesn’t always want to be seen with it. He related one story where two kids ran by him, almost knocking him over when without a walker. He seemed to have a quiet acceptance of all that was happening. I shared that the golfers in golf carts often just missed hitting the runners and walking people, which personally happened to me numerous times and to others. The golfers are arrogant, self-involved and not aware of what is around them.
My dad then brought up the danger of delivery bikers where he lives, and how reckless and dangerous they can be. Most don’t speak English and treat you with disdain. My dad has been a liberal his whole life, but he then said when watching TV every other channel had a non-Caucasian on it. He said it was a different world then the one we grew up in, hard to adjust to, and something we have to learn to live with. I said some of us can’t get used to it and it is hard to accept, even a luxury to do so. He said people are reacting, hence the “tea party.” It is not foreigners they are against, but certain attitudes that undermine our society, in addition to other negative forces.
Through the whole conversation my father did not lose his cool, as sometimes he does with personal matters. He said that it is good to be aware of our surroundings, and what is happening, but through it all one must keep an underlying positiveness. Hard to capture in words but it had a good feeling to it. Just spoke to my mom today and she said he is not feeling well; too much strain, doing too much. Not great to hear this, but I’m glad with whatever strength he had we were able to share.