I took a trip to NJ earlier this year to visit my family. One of my aunts celebrated her 60th birthday.
While we were there, we stopped by and visited my grandfather (my dad’s father). Like we normally do when we all stop by and visit him when we’re in town, we sit in the downstairs living room and just discuss a plethora of things. We laugh, we get super serious, we cry, and then we laugh some more.
At one point, my mother brought up a moment that happened earlier this year when she was dropping my grandmother (her mom) off at her Wellness Center one morning. She described that many elderly people (and even young ones) with and without disabilities get dropped off by their loved ones or caregivers, and while she was describing this, her tone changed to sadness.
Her tone changed to sadness because, while these people are dropping off their family members or friends, they don’t tell them “goodbye,” or “I’ll see you later,” or “I love you.” By this point, my mom had tears in her eyes.
There was one older lady in particular that my mother watched get dropped off one day and the person that dropped her off didn’t say a word to the woman she was leaving. In fact, she was kind of rude with the person she was dropping off. On top of that, the older lady looked slightly sad and maybe even a little angry. As this was happening, my mom was walking in my grandmother to get her signed in. By this time, the person who dropped the woman off had already left, and my mom was getting ready to leave as well. My mom always makes a point in telling my grandmother, “Have a good day, I love you and I’ll see you later.” The other elderly lady who was still in the room thought my mother was telling her this, so she turned around, smiled at my mother and said to her, “I love you too” then proceeded to walk into the rest of the center.
Wow. What a day changer that can be for someone!
It’s a big deal in my family to say “I’ll see you later” instead of “Bye”, whenever we have to depart from one another for the time being. It’s an even BIGGER deal to make sure we tell each other that we love each other, even if we just had an argument and no body is trying to say that to anyone at the moment in time (haha). Yet, we still do it. We still say we love each other because, it could be the last chance we have to do so, and we don’t want to regret not letting each other know that we love each other despite how crazy we can be sometimes. Or how difficult we can be sometimes. Or how almost unforgiving we can be sometimes. Because we never know.
As we go throughout life, sometimes we tend to treat those who are advanced in their age almost as if they are a burden, they don’t know what they’re talking about half the time, they’re too closed minded for any real conversation or anything meaningful to get through to them or they’re just completely senile.
This is not true.
They are still people. People who are wise. People who still need to know that someone is there for them. That someone is listening to them. That someone cares about them. That someone loves them. They still matter. After all, they are the ones that raised us. Took care of us and nurtured us as we started finding our way through life.
So why is it that people, when our elders become elders…we start treating them like that? Why do we start to “throw them away,”?
Perhaps, and I’m speaking for myself because at one point I was guilty of doing so and I was wrong for doing it, but. Perhaps, it’s because we don’t want to accept that they’re getting older. That they are starting to lose heartwarming memories. That they physically aren’t able to do the things they used to be able to do. Perhaps it’s making us so angry that it’s happening, that we project that anger onto them. They don’t deserve that. They don’t deserve to be thrown away, not after everything a lot of them have done for us.
I may be speaking about taking care of our elders and not throwing them away because of their age and/or disabilities, but this goes for everyone in our lives. We are all valuable, precious children of God, and we need to treat each other as such.
As the year ends, just take some time to reflect and see if you’ve unintentionally “thrown someone away” because you were angry at them, because they were dealing with something personal and it was unfortunately affecting the relationship you had with them, because of a disability, because of a misunderstanding, or even because of their age. If you’ve done this, I pray that there’s still a chance to pick them back up and show them that you care. Tell them that you love them. If you can, give them a great ginormous bear hug. Apologize if you need to apologize for whatever, and hopefully end the year on a good note so that the new year can positively start.
Thank you to all my readers, and followers and supporters and everyone. God Bless and I hope you all have a Happy New Year! 🎆🎇✨