“I saw an old man sitting in his car in his driveway with his window rolled down. He didn’t look like he was heading anywhere. His eyes looked as if they were playing back memories long gone. I saw myself…”
It was Sunday and we were all over by my grandparents’ house for dinner. That meant there was no way I was starting my diet because there would be no shortage of delicious food. If I eat a lot Nonna knows that I liked the food a lot, haha. After the olives, cheese, pasta and the main course were gone I sat at the table fighting a food coma with a beer cap in hand. I remember when I was little I would stare in awe as my dad would fold those metal caps into what looked like mini empanadas. It baffled me how strong he must be to do that. I certainly hadn’t had the strength in my tiny fingers for such a feat. Fast forward 20 some years and I find myself sitting at the table folding one of those caps and thinking about how quickly time flies.
My concentration on the folded cap was broken by my grandfather (Nonno Michael). As if he had been listening to what I was thinking about he said, “When I was young I never thought I would ever get old. I thought that was only something that happened to everyone else… not me. Now I see I was wrong.” He topped that with a smile as he put his hand on mine. We both laughed.
God willing, we all get old, right? I was brought up to respect my elders. It is a shame that not everyone sees the reason for that.
When you see an older person walking slowly in front of you don’t hurry their pace or grow impatient… they’ve earned the right to walk at whatever pace they choose.
When you hear an older person speaking their mind without a filter don’t take offense just let them speak… they have held their lip buttoned for long enough.
When you see an older person in need of help don’t close your eyes, help them… they deserve that much.
And when you think to do the opposite remember that there will come a day when you too will grow old, walking that pace, speaking your mind, and reaching out for a hand.