Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Old Folks

I went to a seniors' place yesterday and gave a book talk. It was wonderful to connect with the mostly women there. It's funny, but I see them so much like the young girls they used to be. It's a fact that women live longer than men - and so many live alone. It's touching to see how they still care about the same things they cared about when they were young - about their hair, their clothes, cake, and their friends. The important things!

A couple of women wanted to show me their apartments. They are so proud of them, and rightfully so. They're filled with beautiful things - photos of the gorgeous grandchildren, handmade crafts, and everything is in its place. I used to cringe when I saw such perfection, but now I recognize the decades that led to this small apartment - and how having a tiny place of one's own is so important. Life is hard work for most of us, and old age can be so lonely.

The women I talked to had similar backgrounds to my mother - displaced refugees from WWII. They came in the 1950s by the boatload. And now they finally have time to remember.

I guess Neil Young sang it best.

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