I don’t know what is the average survival rate of a Blog. I guess as long as the host has something to say and is willing to be consistent in her/his efforts, it can last quite some time.
Four years after the death of my father to Alzheimer’s disease I started looking into what all this blogging crapola was about. I felt my experience as a caregiver, coupled with my work as a long-term care ombudsman for the State of Washington (now retired), gave me ample ammunition for subject matters that relate to our aging population … but not just to our aging population, to all of you who are faced with the struggles inherent from having aging loved ones.
About half way through my Blogging experience I changed the “About this Blog” portion of my website to reflect that there is a commonality among those problems experienced by young and old alike. Those problems may look somewhat different on the outside but all of them involve the following sentiment:
Life sometimes throws curve balls at us for which none of us are prepared.
I guess I still maintain this Blog because I still have something to say, and some people out there still need to hear it.
I witnessed a sad occurrence at my local grocery store the other day. I guess it must have been old folks’ day at the market because the aisles were filled with stooped over, gray-haired men and women with their mini-carts, going at least ten steps per foot slower than the rest of us. I take it in stride, knowing I’ve probably pissed off other shoppers one way or another so I’m certainly not without fault.
A twenty-something year old young man in front of me in the cereal aisle did not take it in stride when one of the aforementioned stooped over gray-haired people blocked the exit from the aisle. It appeared the older woman was perusing her shopping list while also rearranging the items in her cart. The young man said, “Excuse me” but she didn’t hear him, so he very brusquely squeezed by her, huffing and expressing his discontent for having been stalled during his very important shopping trip.
Now it was my turn to be behind the woman blocking the exit from the aisle. I said, “Excuse me” four times, increasing the volume each time. It appeared this woman mimicked my father in that his hearing aids – if he wore them – rarely functioned properly, usually because of dead batteries.
Suddenly out of nowhere, the twenty-something year old young man appeared in front of the aisle blocker, pointed at her and said, “You’re blocking the aisle! People can’t get past you. Move!”
I didn’t need that guy to assist me in navigating beyond the woman. My next effort was going to be a light tapping of her shoulder to get her attention, and then ask if I could get by her.
What bothered me about this entire episode was the guy’s impatience, his lack of compassion and total lack of empathy. The woman was startled and taken aback by his aggression and as I passed her I calmed her down and told her not to worry, everything would be okay.
If I had been given the opportunity, I would have courteously addressed the young man to remind him that he wouldn’t always be in his twenties, and some day in the far future, he may find himself shuffling down the cereal aisle trying to get his wits about him, and he may end up blocking an impatient young person who treats him as rudely as he did today’s elder.
I guess what I want to do/say with this post is to remind all of us to be more other-focused to all age groups. A crying baby in a shopping cart being pushed by a frazzled mother? Wave at the baby, maybe make a funny face that will change his mood.
Too few checkers to clear everyone’s groceries and the person behind you has a hand basket filled with items versus your filled to bursting shopping cart? By all means, please go ahead of me.
While walking to your car in the parking lot, another shopper – perhaps aged, perhaps not – finishes loading her automobile with groceries. How about you secure your cart near your vehicle for unpacking and offer to drive her cart to the cart corral so she can be on her way.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll conclude by saying it again:
It’s never wrong to do good. Even the smallest courtesy can mean quite a lot to someone else.