Monday, June 23, 2014

Why I Might Organize a Senior Social in My Building’s Main Lobby

One afternoon a couple of years ago, I returned home to find a supremely strung-out dude buzzing up the intercom panel on my building’s front porch. He asked if I knew a guy on the sixth floor whose name I didn’t recognize but I’m pretty sure I know who he meant; he’s really nice, possibly around 70 years old. The person pacing the porch worked with this sixth-floor neighbor, who has a heart problem, and said no one in their workplace had seen or heard anything from or about him in a week, so this co-worker came by to check on him. On the elevator ride up, he mentioned how nervous he was about what he might smell when he reached the apartment’s door. I haven’t run into that neighbor since.

I live in a building filled with people, representing every adult age bracket, who live alone. People I’ve only ever seen alone. It’s the sight of the chronically-flying-solo elderly ones that distresses me to distraction.

Last night, I caught up with an elderly one who has survived breast cancer, uterine cancer, horrible seasonal allergies. She’s recovering from a major surgery and has deep relationships with many people, old and young, near and far. When she said she’s tired of them constantly calling and visiting her, in sickness and in health, I couldn’t feel sorry for her.

2 comments:

  1. I can't feel sorry for her, either. On the other hand, you have to recognize her deep physical and emotional exhaustion after all those illnesses.

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  2. well, I can't stand most of my relatives, so I can understand, but on the other hand, perhaps not surprisingly, they don't contact me.

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