On an episode of South Park,
Stan Marsh's grandfather tried to explain to the youngsters what it felt like to be old. So the grandfather character locked the young boys in a dark room and played music that mimicked Enya
Today in church, I looked around and noticed some elderly people. There was one couple in particular that caught my attention. When we were all going up for communion, when one of the pair started to stand up, the other said "Honey, just sit down. You are too tired to walk all that way". There was a blank stare in this person's eyes, one of those stares that said "Don't tell me what I'm thinking..."and in my head I imagined that she was hearing the music from that South Park
episode. I turned around to find that the other person did not heed the "warning" and was following the end of the line. They had made it up to the alter and back without losing their breath.
Earlier this week, I met a woman who was drinking coffee with her mother. Her dauther kept glancing over to my table, making me feel like I had blueberry muffin caught in my front teeth gap.
When she became aware that I noticed her stare she said, "I was smiling because mother thought that the blue-tooth device in your ear was a hearing aid. She muttered to me that you are too young to have one".
I smiled and said, "Oh this thing? I usually don't wear it unless I'm talking on the phone. I'm not that important and don't get many phone calls". I quickly pulled it off and tucked it into my front pocket.
She went on to say "Mother likes to have her tea at noon. The same kind of tea every day at exactly the same hour. We come here until it's time to pick up my kids. Mother likes riding in the car with the windows open so she can smell the fresh air".
I asked her mother how she was doing. As she began to reply, the daughter cut in "Mother isn't feeling very well today. I don't think she got much sleep last night. She hardly ate any of her bacon this morning because she said it was too crispy".
I replied while looking directly at her mother "I get insomnia sometimes. My favorite ingredient to any meal is bacon. BLTs, bacon bits, omelettes with bacon etc...I once saw a whole cookbook dedicated to bacon".
Her mother smiled and started to reply, only to be cut off by the daughter. "Mother thinks foods that are oily are bad for her cholesterol. But mother also collects cookbooks. That's interesting where did you see it".
I looked once again directly at the mother and told her the name of the store. With that, I stood up shook the mother's hand and said "It was nice almost having a conversation with you".
In many cases, I think that we view someone who is older as helpless because we enable them to become that way. We assume that they no longer have a voice or the strength to walk a few steps. In reality, I feel like they are just as lively as they were when they were twenty-five. And I can only hope that when I'm a senior citizen, that I'll act like I'm 25.
All I could think about is that the daughter is probably the one hearing that South Park
version of Enya
music. And if her mother is hearing it, then she probably uses it to block out her daughter's voice.