The hands of my Grandmother and Granddaughter
Aging Young Ladies
I currently have two friends who have Mothers living in local Assisted Living facilities. As a kindness to my friends, I offered to visit with their Moms. On my way, I stopped at the Suisse Shop bakery where a young, blue haired girl, helped me to fill two miniature, square, cake boxes with, above average, baked goods. I decided to find the joy in being in the bakery without buying anything for myself. I am living somewhere between “Eat the Cake!” and “Get a hold of yourself!” I enjoyed the smells and the act of choosing an oversize, heavily iced cinnamon roll. I studied the exposed, busy back room where I could see a handful of bakers working in their tall, white chef hats. It all felt very European and the experience, was probably, I imagine, almost as good as the eating of that cinnamon roll.
I delivered both of my boxes with the second box going to Loretta, in a local facility were my Mother was once the activities director. I had lunch in the dining room where I once volunteered, calling bingo. I was fed delicious ice cream by a longtime employee, who is also, my pure of heart, bike riding poet, friend and neighbor, Michael.
Loretta is 91 years old. We talked like girlfriends until long after the dining room had cleared. Loretta pulled out her dog-eared schedule of events and I rolled her to the lobby for a game of The Price is Right. As the other ladies strolled into the lobby, Loretta gave me the low down on many of the girls including their ages. I listened to the ladies talk about things like, how long their husbands have been gone and, “check out my new cell phone!” I could see the young girls in the older women. I was a witness to the joy filled dynamics of friendship that seems not to change with age.
There are noticeably many more women then men in the facility and no men playing the game. Loretta said that she sits at the same table with the same friends for meals. She tells me about the old man with a walker, who rolls by their table daily. He unintentionally, wears his pants just above his knees. She and her friends are just waiting for the day that those pants hit the ground. My advice for Loretta, if that ever does happen, is to look away.