I cry for my mom, not because she is 86, but on the contrary, I am blessed that she is still with us. I cry for the uncharitable people of this world who view people like her as second class citizens. How do I know this? I see it every day.
Yes, she is slow and walks unsteadily. So, when you are in a hurry and wish she would get out of your way, please say, “Excuse me” and smile as you pass, or say, “Have a nice day.” Please look her in the eye when you wait on her as she cannot hear you as well as she used to. Take a few seconds to make sure she understands what you are telling her. Please be patient as she fumbles for her money and can’t distinguish a nickel from a quarter. And if she’s wrong, please be kind enough to help her. Whether you’re the person stocking the store shelves or the doctor, it doesn’t matter.
Professional people are not exempt from rudeness. When I have her in your office and I talk for her, explaining her symptoms, look at her, not me. Though she may not find the words, I want to make sure she gets the best medical care.
You see, I am right behind her watching. I see the stares of disgust, the comments and the downright rude actions. As you push your little one in that stroller waiting to pass,
I just hope your child will be helping you should you reach that age.
I am her advocate, her confidant, her cheerleader and, yes, her bulldog, if I have to be. I will cut you off at the pass should she feel threatened or hurt by your actions. I will remind you that one day, you may need someone and I hope you have a loved one in your corner.
She knows I will be the first one to help an elderly person. When they look confused or need help, I will stop and say, “Can I help you?” She often says, “Why do you go out of your way?” I always tell her, “I would hope someone will help you if I am not with you.” Call it a cosmic credit account that will put someone there should she need help.
So, the next time an elderly person is in your path, at your check-out or in a doctor’s office, take a few seconds to dig deep and pull out a little compassion. Hopefully, you will be lucky to live to be 86.
My name doesn’t matter. I can be any son or daughter of an elderly parent. Who knows? It could be yours.
By: Sharon Dorbit