Once a week we take the kids to the local nursing home to visit. We don’t stay long – just enough time to say hello to everyone, smile and ask them about their day. Sometimes we bring our dog along- old folks LOVE the “Pooch”.
I was raised in a Jewish Modern Orthodox household and although I still continue to observe many traditions now, I don’t believe in organized religion (or anything Rabbis have to say for that matter). But when I step foot into this nursing home, I am overcome by such an overwhelming RELIGIOUS and SPIRITUAL emotion than I ever experienced before.
I don’t look at these people the same way I do the old people pulling out of their parking spaces without looking and just a beep of the horn at Publix – or those playing Canasta in the ladies card room who give me dirty looks for taking candy (besides- who has time to look in in the card room – did I mention there’s SO much candy in there?) – but rather, I see these people as SOULS who have EXPERIENCED a LIFETIME of LESSONS. The stories they tell with just a look into their eyes indicate they are at the end of a life cycle -you can almost feel the gates of heaven.
So, yesterday, while visiting our usual friends, we met a new resident, Ethel. She’s 92 and sharp as a nail. I asked her if she wanted to be my husbands’ Valentine since I was already spoken for by my 83 year old buddy Jack- an ex marine and war hero. ( My husband doesn’t celebrate Valentines – I think it’s because he knows that if he brought me candy I would inevitably devour it all the minute after everyone went to bed and somehow make it ALL HIS fault.)
So when I asked Ethel if she wanted to be his Valentine I was a little surprised with her response:
“NO !!! I AM NOT INTERESTED!!!”
Even though we were discussing a theoretical and made up holiday I still had to ask her why she was so adamantly against being his Valentine.
She looked me straight in the eyes and simply said:
“Men stopped being interesting to me a long time ago. Now I am only into the LADIES”
And there ya go!
No matter what age – we are who we are. Gotta love it.