The boys and I went to get their hair cut yesterday – an unlikely place for anything interesting to happen other than the flavor choices of the free lollipops. When we got there an older gentleman was waiting with a cane and an african woman was talking to him. The boys were called back right away for their cuts but we all kept watching this woman walking back and forth between the man waiting and another man getting his hair cut.
When one of my guys was done, he sat on a chair and picked up a magazine. The man waiting tried to hit the magazine with his cane, talking but not in a way my son could understand. Instead of moving away, my guy moved closer to him, showing the man the magazine and talking to him about the picture he was looking at. The african woman came over to us – her accent thick and gentle. She said she was their caretaker and had been for 10 years. The man who my son was talking to was 95 years old and his brother, who was getting his hair cut — almost 101! She thanked my son for being so generous and we (of course) hugged when we left – me thanking her for just being there with us.
On the way home, we talked about getting older and how invincible we feel right now.
We will all get older and, when we do, we will likely need someone to take us for hair cuts, to help us sit down, change our clothes … maybe even feed us. Some of you have already done that for your parents.
And, as we get older, we continue to hear the echoes of our youth. The ability to take care of ourselves – to not be a burden. To do what we want, within reason, with our bodies and our time. But life is not perfect and inevitably some of us will be like the men we met yesterday – with someone taking care of them.
While this is not something to dwell on, it can help us appreciate our health at this very moment. It can help us teach the next generation about the importance of the circle of life – that we are helpless when we are born and often when we die. It can remind us to keep spreading happiness and love all around – it’s free and will come back two-fold (research indicates that smiling and laughing results in fewer wrinkles too!).
For me, yesterday also reminded me of the goodness in my boys as they reached out, without fear, to old(er) people they didn’t even know. This is the joy of keeping our eyes open all the time — even at the $12.00 hair cut place!
Have a fantastic start to your week. And remind anyone you are “helping” that it is not a burden … it is life. 🙂