When I was growing up, my mom’s best friends were her sisters. They did everything together. We went to the beach every Sunday, spreading out food at the picnic table and swimming til we were exhausted. We went to my aunt’s house on the lake, boating and fishing. Then we’d all pile in the car and go to my aunt’s house with the great swimming pool. What fun we all had together. One big mess of cousins, siblings, aunts, uncles – teasing, talking, enjoying life.
For my mom, those days are long gone. For many years now, she sat alone at home day after day. I tried to encourage her to go to an exercise class. Or ask my sister to take her to lunch. I think she was depressed because it all seemed like too much trouble.
Well, mom’s been here for almost two months and I think she’s done more in two months than she did in five years. She went to her first NC State football tailgate and marveled at the food, participated in the conversation, and laughed. We go to dinner with friends on Friday nights. Guests come to our house for a home-cooked meal on Sundays. My husband takes her to the market on Thursdays. And in two weeks, she’s going to her first exercise class — it’s chair yoga. Perfect to help her get back some confidence.
I often wonder what other seniors do to socialize. It seems like growing old can be so isolating. No wonder seniors who shouldn’t be driving hang on to the wheel of their car. They know what life will be like for them if they can’t drive or be their old independent selves.