I never had a chance to really get to know any of my grandparents. I’m envious of those who have had that opportunity. My paternal grandfather passed before I was born, and Dad and Granny had a falling out long ago. (I met her once.) My maternal grandparents lived in Germany and we lived in Canada. We weren’t well off, and flights were expensive so visits were rare. They came to Canada a few times, but the language barrier was daunting. (Somehow, Opa taught me to play chess when I was 6 or 7 during one of the rare visits. I remember him being a very nice man.)
I deal with a lot of seniors at the family-type hair salon where I work. (I work at a grocery store too, but that’s a whole other thread entirely.) When I first started, they raised an eyebrow at my appearance (the ever-changing weird hair colors, the black clothes, etc.), but now they know I’m a strange but nice girl, and I enjoy the ribbing and jokes.
A lot of the ladies are veterans, and have great stories and sometimes the raunchiest jokes. They’re a hoot.
I’m under threats from one of them, who is now 82, that if I give her an “old lady” hairdo she’ll take me outside to the parking lot and give me an ass-kicking. She would, too. She’s fantastic…her and her live-in boyfriend (of 20 years) golf 3-5 times a week, are in a darts league, and are active in the community. She’s a singer, and they go to the veteran’s homes and she entertains her “old boys” who get to have a beer or two and listen to the old war songs.
Another that stands out is Glad, who is 93. She lives in her own house and is fully self-sufficient still. She’s at every hockey game and football game, up drinking beer in the stands and cheering her heart out. She walks everywhere and never spends all day at home. She’s never been married, and when I asked her if she has a boyfriend she said, with a sly wink and an impish smile, “Sometimes”. Good for you, girl. She gave me tequila for Christmas.
It’s sad when you see them failing, but some have told me that they’re ready to go. They’ve had long, great lives, tears, and lots of laughs. Some are a bit cranky or in pain, and the world has changed a lot for them. A little understanding and patience goes a long way.
Do you know any great seniors?