Aging parents, we should all understand, have frustratingly aging bodies, yet many are seeing and perceiving the world just as they always have. In fact, I’ve heard them say how curious it is to look in the mirror and see themselves staring back. Some wonder, “Who is that old person looking back at me?”
About 25 years ago, my mother was helping to care for her mother, and I was clueless about caring-for-aging-parents responsibility. Not anymore. I remember, in detail, an incident with my mother’s mother.
Late that summer my husband and I visited the assisted living community where my 91-year-old grandmother lived. We took Grandma out to dinner and afterward walked along the ocean. She seemed so old and fragile. Gosh, even my parents seemed old, though they were a bit younger than I am now.
As we walked along the boardwalk, people watching, Grandma pointed out things along the way. She admired the waves and weather, and the clothes that a few women were wearing, and then she said, “Oh my goodness, look at that cute man over there! What a great bottom he has.” I must have looked shocked.
Grandma looked at me and then back at the man. She said, “He is cute. Just because I am old and wrinkly doesn’t mean that my eyes don’t see what they have always seen. He has a great body.”
Another lesson learned in the game of life. I imagine others have learned similar lessons. Have you?