04 Nov

Today i was hanging out with a group of senior citizens (i do that twice a week – pure volunteering) one particular lady showed me something that got me thinking. You see, this lady is 89 years old, has survived three strokes, one cardiac arrest and a severe bout of depression. No, she is not bedridden, walks with a faltering step though, is pretty coherent in her speech, has an intact long term memory (her memory of the winter war, continuation war and Lapland war are impeccable) never mind she was barely 15 when it all begun and ended. Her short term memory is something else altogether, i get to repeat the day of the week countless times she forgets it as soon as i utter it – can be quite droll. Enlisting for this cause is one of the most gratifying things i have done in my lifespan. You see when you live in a society where you are likely to encounter negativity, indifference, sectarianism etc intermittently, a geniune show of appreciation, or a desperate display of neediness and the evident reminder that poverty (i don’t mean access to resources – i mean any form of deprivation) is not the preserve of few, can mean that push for another extra mile. I still believe that the good Lord intended for us to co-exist symbiotically, the human race especially but…..

So, this particular day after watching a black and white old Finnish movie with my lady, she decided to play dress up. She was intent on educating me on matters medieval Finland. Dress code was todays subject. So she attempted to drag this sizable antique chest, (it’s just amazing how much willpower people get when they are at a certain age) she wouldn’t let me help her so i stood there for a couple before she finally gave in. Out of the chest comes this hand embroidered long frock and matching slippers *elf like* and she made me wear it. I was itching for photos but all my instructions on handling my phone for pictures were futile – talk about a willing spirit but really weak flesh. I have fortunately found a similar looking one online. So it was my turn to talk about my native dress code and of course that was easy. Just needed to hit google and show some maasai images. I really need to educate myself on my own ethnic dress code *side note* Next week we will attempt to have cornrows on her head simply because she’s fascinated by my very versatile afro hair.


This post was about something she showed me and no, it’s not the dress. As i was leaving, she asked me to keep my fingers crossed for her to get her placement to a hospice approved, because she’s so tired of living alone. ‘This loneliness is killing me’ her words exactly. That’s always sad to hear. So am keeping every crossable anything on my body crossed for her.

It was at this point that she pointed her already packed suitcase. She said it’s been ready for a whole year all she’s waiting for is the call. Wow! I think that was my zenith moment. I started thinking about how i am always inclined to want and wish for change, new prospects, new locations and how unprepared i usually am or feel when and if they materialize. This lady taught me about something most of us take for granted. Ever been in a situation where you have to re-locate *anticipated re-location* only to realize that you have valuable assets and no time to liquidate them only to be forced to dump them or give them away?

As i continue to cross my fingers for my lady, am determined to apply this lesson and who knows, i may need to cross some fingers for myself too.


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Posted by on November 4, 2013 in Undeterred


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