Elderly Lessons


It seems like forever since I’ve written a post.  There’s been a deep longing within my mind.  Something missing inside of me.  Ten fingers on two hands tapping air above cool, cotton sheets.  In a silent dream, a horizontal black keyboard appears.  Letters printed in white.  No sound.  Motion only.  Subconsciously, a realization that fingertips, my own are moving now.  During sleep!  First up then down.  Body tossing back and forth.  Fitful.  Later, words appear during REM.  What was written in my head?  What was said?  Gone forever now.  A writer’s mind….

It’s only been a couple of days since I left my office space.  My burgundy swivel chair near the turret window here.  My oh-so-comforting half-moon desk across the well-worn computer to travel to the desert land of Arizona in order to meet my elderly great-aunt.  Still, it truly seems like a month or more since words have been written.

Travel is not as fun as it used to be when I was young.  Gone are the days when I use to dress in a nice nubby suit, breeze through the airport to grab a skinny cappuccino and read the newspaper before catching my plane.

Today, it’s comfortable clothing most people wear to travel in.  Two hours early is the recommended time to breeze through security.  Remove my shoes from my feet and belt from my jeans or the buzzer will go off.  Lift my hands above my head while someone wearing blue rubber gloves will pat my body down from head to toe.

When all is done, fight the crowds to W.A.I.T.  Hopefully, my plane will be on time.  Wait more seconds, more minutes…maybe more hours.  Get in line.  Squish in-between others before it’s time to board the shiny silver bird.  Sit down.  Hopefully, I didn’t forget to bring some food in case hunger pangs begin.  Whew….how much longer before this landing gear goes down?

Regardless, my trip to Arizona was well worth any travel discomfort I may have endured.  Shortly thereafter, I walked into the front door of a little stucco ranch house behind a tall Saguaro cactus.  Sitting at a white, Formica table was a dear, silver-haired 88-year-old lady whose suitcase had been packed and re-packed several times in anticipation of my arrival.  A borrowed black handbag sewn with many outside pockets to carry all of her medication including precious eye drops to treat glaucoma sat safely on her lap.

The next day, I promised her a smooth and easy non-stop flight back to St. Louis.  Although my great-aunt was comfortable in a wheel chair, she was still a bit anxious being out of her normal surroundings.  I was eager to board the plane and ready to be on our way.  Soon a pleasant voice announced over the loud-speaker our expectations were not to be.  Our magical jet plane had, “Mechanical Problems.”

I won’t go into detail, but most of yesterday was spent inside rather than outside the Phoenix airport.  It could have been a personal disaster, especially for my elderly great-aunt, but we turned it into something as close to wonderful as it could be.

Together, we reminisced.  We talked and laughed.  We strolled down streets to shop for what we didn’t need.  We languished over a two-hour lunch, pretending to be in an outdoor Paris café.  Afterward, we bit into luscious chocolates neither one of us had ever eaten before.

Today, the two of us are very tired.  My precious aunt is napping this afternoon after nibbling on a lunch while sitting outside in the coolness of my patio garden.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

How very thankful I am.  My great-aunt teaches me without speaking a word….    

43 thoughts on “Elderly Lessons

  1. What a simply lovely post. I love how you took what could have been a disheartening and aggravating imposition and turned it into time truly savored and treasured. I concur air travel has greatly changed, I’m glad your great aunt weathered it well. I would probably need a nap as well 😉

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    • My gosh, catching-up after much travel. If I neglected to thank you before for Reblogging this post, certainly, my heart thanks you today. Bless you for your kindness.

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    • Barbara, thank you kindly for Reblogging this post and saying such kind words. Perhaps, I am “steady” by her side, but she is a ‘gift’ within my lift. ;]

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  2. Waiting in airports can be maddening but I’m glad you turned it into as pleasant a time as possible. A few weeks ago on Facebook someone sent me a video about a guy waiting in an airport overnight – it was hilarious. The guy made a short video of himself singing and dancing and being very funny. I tried to find it to show you but failed. I think the take-away gem of wisdom is that when there are no options – your mood is still your choice. Lovely post. ❤

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  3. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Another warm and thought provoking post from Kim Gosselin – modern day travel is fraught with delays, security pat downs and crowded airports. When you are elderly and used to your own comfort zone and speed it is hard not to be stressed when taking this form of travel – however Kim manages to make it also an opportunity to rebond with an elderly aunt to make it a bit of an adventure… do read.

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    • How sweet your words, Sally. Thank you so very much. So tired she was, but for a brief time a new world opened up in an airport of all places! 🙂 Your continued support means much to me.

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  4. Precious time together, Kim! You are both so lucky to have each other, to be able to make your time together magical, no matter where you are. Beautiful story. Beautiful lesson. All the best! ~Karen~

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  5. What a nice post Kim. The delay obviously worked for you both so you had valuable time together. I’ve actually changed planes at Phoenix back in 2002, it’s a BIG airport.
    Cheers
    Laurie.

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  6. That is a really beautiful blog, so full of warmth and love.
    And through the inconvenience you found a beautiful ending.
    I am happy for you both, another memory for your lovely Aunt.
    Emu aka Ian

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