It is sad when a vacation starts to wind down. But this is a bit different. Three ladies (of age) just landed in Vancouver, British Columbia. and although we can no longer kick up our heels, we are determined to have the best eight days ever.
Still, even with my mind on the fun, I realize it is almost time for that inevitable fond adieu. In another couple of days, “the party’s over.” My sister flies back to Hot-lanta, and my cousin and I to Manila.
It had been a blast.
And because young people may ask what octogenarians do for fun, let me elucidate.
We laugh a lot. Maybe that means we don’t have a care in the world. And if we do, we probably don’t remember it long enough to fuss about it.
We reminisce. A lot. We remember the good old days, talk about how different “our times” were from today. We recall old songs, and sometimes sing them out loud. And when one of us forgets the lyrics, the other one takes over.
We shop. We lean on our shopping carts as if they were walkers and buy things we don’t need. At our age, we don’t need much anymore. I have things hanging in my closet I have forgotten about. Yes, I know, what a waste. But what the heck, it happens. I think we shop because we love the idea that we can buy something that is not medication.
Eating more than we should
We chat. Endlessly. We repeat jokes, forget punch lines and compare senior moments.
We eat. More than we should. We have fanciful memories of what we used to enjoy in our youth. For example: We remember Orange Julius tasting fresher and more delicious. It’s no longer what it was like before the war in that one and only outlet on A. Mabini, beside the Academia where we took piano lessons. I remember more flavor, more creaminess in that “secret powder.” What was it anyway? Trust me, it was not Klim.
And in the middle of our merriment we cry a little. For some of us, it is still painful to remember our losses. But despite the tears, we are thankful—even for the bad moments. It may be true, after all, what they say about having loved and lost.
And recalling our adventures and misadventures, we are immensely grateful. We have come this far, not quite unscathed, no—oh, but so much wiser and all the better for the scrapes. No regrets.
We marvel at the innocence of our young years, how little we knew about life then, how deliciously gullible we were.
We are baffled by the audacity of today’s youth. What in our time was considered unacceptable has become humdrum and even fashionable. Showing off baby bumps comes to mind. Talking about intimate body parts and functions is no longer considered uncouth.
We talk about tattoos.
Lest I be bashed and hated for this, let me interject that some of my most beloved people wear them proudly. And I still love them with all my heart. I just don’t understand it.
What will happen when these young people (and some are not so young) grow older and regret having indelible ink drawings on their bodies? There is no delete button, and I am told it hurts to erase them.
From our rocking chairs, we worry.
We are astonished by their newfangled ideas and stunned by today’s values. Or the lack of them?
We cannot understand how the world has changed so drastically and we ask ourselves why.
I have a suspicion that our generation may have had a great deal to do with the way things are today.
Perhaps we looked the other way too often. When we dared speak up, it was timid, hesitant and not often or loud enough. We decided it was safer not to say anything. Did we give up too soon?
Was it wisdom or fear that turned us into mere bystanders who observed the changing landscape and said nothing? Or did we remain silent just to keep the peace? Pity.
Food for thought
I have heard it said that God sends an angel when we need one the most. How often have we passed up an opportunity to be that angel?
Do you wonder why some people act or react the way they do? Has it ever occurred to you that person may just be unhappy? Or do you quickly pass judgment, not pausing to offer a helping hand or a word of encouragement?
Looks can deceive. Sometimes the widest smile is just a mask that conceals the deepest darkness in someone’s heart.
I recently came across a list of signs and symptoms of chronically unhappy people. It was an interesting eye opener.
It says they believe that life is always hard. Under a gray cloud, it is difficult to see a silver lining.
There is a void in their lives, and they try to fill it with things.
Their conversation is mostly gossip. They hold grudges and constantly moan and groan. They are prophets of doom who do not trust strangers and look to fix blame on anything and anybody.
They are concerned about what others think of them; worry about money no matter if they are wealthy.
Life is all about them.
The worst thing is that they are so busy wishing they had what others have that they miss seeing their own blessings. Sad.
Did the list raise any red flags? Did it remind you of anyone you know? Someone close to you?