Arthro-Pilates and Lupus





Our Seniors… Our past and Our Future… If Only We Will Listen

I was at the hair salon a little while ago, waiting for my appointment, and began a conversation with an elderly gentleman whose wife was having her hair done. As we talked, he began to tell me the story of his life and how he came to Toronto and worked in the retail shoe business. He described the fashion industry back in the 60’s and 70’s and how he had worked for one of the top shoe retailers at Bay and Bloor. He described our city and how it has changed. He talked about his family and his wife as tears welled up in his eyes. He told me how much he loved her, and he announced the fact that he had just celebrated his sixty-third wedding anniversary.

Never having been married myself, I thought this to be a golden opportunity and asked him a question that I’ve always wanted the answer to. So I asked, “What is your secret to a long and lasting relationship”? He took my hand and said, “Honey sometimes you just have to listen and compromise” then he continued “When you find the right man, make sure he is honest, because if your partner is a liar then it will never work”.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him, but at that time I was dating a political advisor for the Liberal party. After he escorted his wife out of the salon, bidding me a fond farewell, I began to think about all that he had said to me. I also began to think about my own grandparents who are now deceased and how they came to Toronto, struggled to achieve and maintain a life for my parents and subsequently my brothers, my sister and myself, and about seniors in general.

In some countries, getting older is considered a blessing. Age and wisdom go hand in hand and are things to be achieved. Here in North America and in our youth obsessed culture, ageing is feared and our senior citizens are unfortunately considered more of a burden than anything.

We have so much to learn from these people. After all they have lived full lives with all it’s insanity and all its ups and downs, trials and tribulations. They have witnessed changes in political climate, changes in industrialization, and they have seen war and glory. Basically they have seen “IT ALL”. They have a mountain of knowledge to share. When I looked into this man’s eyes, I didn’t see an old person looking back, I saw my past and I saw my future. I saw a life filled with interesting stories and wisdom to impart if only there were ears to listen.

Our seniors have earned the right to be respected and to be heard. The next time you have the opportunity to speak but more importantly to listen to a senior that you might otherwise pass by, I highly recommend that you do so. Whether you’re waiting in the hair salon, at a bus stop or in line at the grocery store, take that opportunity to stop, listen and learn. I am most certainly glad that I did so. Senior citizens have so much to tell us. I can only hope that when I am in my eighties someone is interested enough to hear what I have to say.


©Lori Weisbrod


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