Adjusting to what he saw
(Observations of dad from about 10 years ago)
My dad is not often in a good mood lately. At 91 being a 24/7 care giver to my mom plus other things gets to his nerves and he doesn’t talk much to me 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. But now, the young newcomers just mixed it all up, doing all sorts of activities wherever they wanted. Then he told me one day when he was sitting “they just do what they want and don’t follow any rules.” He said on the left and right of him on the bench were two widows with walkers. He had a walker and walking towards the bench a third elderly person had a cane. She had fractured her hip, used a walker, then a cane, now just carries the cane. My dad was the only man there, the other husbands all 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 down in Florida to get used to so many people without manners. Rudeness prevails.
Then 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 almost hit the walkers, which personally happened to me numerous times. They 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 what we grew up in, hard to adjust to and something we have to learn to live with. I said some people can’t get used to it. He said people are reacting. He continued to say that it is not foreigners they are against, but certain attitudes that undermine our society, even though it is true our society has also lost much of its substance.
Through the whole conversation my father did not lose his cool, as sometimes he does with personal matters, and he said that it is good to be aware of our surroundings and what is happening, but through it all to keep an underlying positivity underneath it all. Hard to capture in words but 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 glad I heard what I did before.