JUST IN CASE
(Cambridge, Ontario, Canada)
This beautiful story was posted last summer, and I just found it! Yikes! Great lesson to be learned from Sheila!! Thank you!
JUST IN CASE…
I have just turned 89 and it’s easier for me to stay home than it is to leave my reclining chair and venture out into the world. I tend to make excuses, such as I might get over-tired or fall. Well, an experience I had recently made me stop and think.
I live in a seniors’ facility and we were waiting for our exercise class one morning when a young woman came to the auditorium to ask for volunteers to take part in the filming of a TV show. It would take place in a park next door with the intention of making the park accessible to us seniors. Without a second thought I put my hand up, as did two other women present, June and Shirley, women I barely knew.
The program was to be filmed over three days, starting on my birthday, and my first cautious question was how would I negotiate my walker through the uneven grass? No problem, I was told. A path would make it easy for seniors. Good.
On the day we met to pick up program’s t-shirts, we did it amid laughter. Shirley, also 89, finds everything funny and her younger friend, June, is the perfect foil. I’d no reason to worry, I thought, until we received our schedules and my heart did a somersault. There were two very early morning meetings and no time for afternoon naps. There would be a long time between takes, and the possibility of waiting around, so “bring a book” was suggested.
I admit I was tempted to back out. And we did have to wait, but the book was never opened. If I had thought ahead I would have brought along a hat and sun protection, “just in case,” but the hot sun didn’t bother me and that was due to the company. The three of us laughed and we talked and we laughed some more. And on my birthday, at a beautifully catered lunch, I was surprised and delighted to be presented with a cake that we all enjoyed. I will never forget that moment.
So, what were our roles? They were minimal, and if you see the movie when it comes out you will see, in quick flashes, that we ‘helped construct and paint flowerboxes and plant them with flowers’, but remember, the camera does lie! However, the best time was spent with the children. We showed them around our home’s beautiful gardens and allotments, and talked about the flowers, fruit and vegetables.
The theme of the show was ‘Fair’ and on the day the park officially re-opened, the theme was followed through on the sidewalk, where we had our faces painted, bought popcorn and played games. Later, we sat and talked with the children in the ‘carousel’ on benches that the children themselves suggested would be “nice for the seniors.”
This all took place at the end of June. Now it’s August, and I wonder just how many of us have yet to visit the park, to sit and chat with the kids, or just watch as they enjoy themselves on the swings and slide; or on their favorite and aptly named Twister.
Or are we telling ourselves that we shouldn’t venture out, just in case…?