A dear friend is taking care of his widowed, 88-year-old father. His father’s physical and mental health are slipping – not enough to incapacitate, but enough to noticeably affect what used to be normal.
He has given me permission to retell some of his favorite anecdotes.
Before I share the first story, I, too, am taking care of an elderly parent. I have moved from an academic awareness of the needs of the elderly to a heartfelt, experiential based understanding of at least one person. Yes, it’s a very small sample. Sure, it’s not enough to make me an expert in geriactrics, but it is enough to wake me up to a whole other aspect of life.
Encounter at the Store
My friend took his father to a large grocery store – the store his father had shopped for years.
The father was near the checkout lane when he spotted a middle-aged man carrying only a 12-pack of beer to the cashier.
The father stopped the man and asked him a question that startled him, embarrassed his son, and had other store employees laughing. He asked in the loudest of voices (the father has significant hearing loss), “Are you going to drink all that in one sitting?”