I saw myself at what I hope is a distant future
I didn’t know it at the time, but today I saw my future and I found some inspiration and some despair. I was at my grandson’s baseball game which was called because of rain. As we were leaving a definitely older woman was descending the metal bleachers. I have become a poor judge of age because some people my age look really old and even some younger folks look older. But, she was older and using a cane. She looked down at the bleacher steps with trepidation. Hey, I know what it looks like to descend steps with bad knees. I felt for her.
There she was, all alone with no one to help her. She must have been there for a grandson and there must be a son or daughter nearby but at that moment she was alone at the top of slippery wet metal bleachers. I could tell she wanted to be independent but at the same time I wanted to offer assistance. Not in a condescending way but in some way that would help her down but preserve her dignity.
I offered my hand but that wasn’t enough. I asked her to hold my arm. Finally I was able to just pick her up and bring her to the bottom step where she could get her footing. I gave myself a mental pat on the back that all that weight training allowed me to lift her. I think the fact that another “senior” was helping made it OK. No loss of dignity. One senior helping another. She mentioned that age was bringing infirmity and my reply was my standard quip: “It beats the alternative”
At that point we made eye contact in mutual recognition. We even hugged each other Yes, it beats the alternative.
Nothing more needed to be said.