Tag Archives: old age

Joie de vivre

joie de  vivre

Joie de vivre – Love of life

I enjoy meeting new people, and today I had the good fortune to meet a woman who was so full of life, it was contagious.

As I sat and listened to snippets of her life, I was in awe of how much this woman loved life, and how contented she was to be herself.  Many people I have met seem happy with their life, but I think this is the first time I have met someone whose happiness seems to flow from every pore.

For almost an hour she chatted about a wide range of topics.  Good things, bad things, fun things, tough things, but all of it was shared with such amazing spirit.  I have no idea of the woman’s age, although I know she is at least seventy (she looks decades younger), and her zest for living left me breathless.  Her optimism seemed almost tangible – like I could reach out and touch it.

This woman’s husband passed away six years ago, and she has lived alone since then.  Her days are filled with volunteering, family and reading.  She is passionate about learning.  She has created what I would call a ‘living legacy’ for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren – she doesn’t want them just to inherit photo albums, she wants them to know the stories, warts and all, of the lives of their ancestors.  Plus she has a few fun surprises planned for them for after she passes.

A close relationship with God is something she holds dear, but she told me she had come to understand the religion she was raised in was just man-made, so she says her prayers and worships in private.  She has been hurt by ‘church-going, Christians’ enough to know that going to church does not make a person ‘good’.

I could have sat and listened to this woman for hours, but unfortunately had another appointment to attend.  Meeting with her again in a few weeks is something I am definitely looking forward to.

I can only hope that one day I might be able to have even a quarter of this woman’s joie de vivre.

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Senility

I just don’t understand.  Everything was moving forward, falling into place, and dragging me along for the ride, but now… nothing.  Worse than nothing.

What am I going to do?  I made all these promises that now, I can’t keep.  Dozens of people are relying on me, but I can’t come through for them.  I’ve lost everything.

Slowly I am drowning, dying, disappearing into nothingness.  Maybe they won’t notice.  Maybe… maybe I don’t really exist.  Maybe everything I think is real, really isn’t.  I thought what I had was real, but it wasn’t.  Maybe I am hallucinating.

Oh, what am I going to do?  No job.  No home.  No family.  Nothing.

This grass is cold.  My bum’s all wet from the dew.  My face is burning, but I don’t know why.  I don’t think I care.  I just need to work out how it all went so wrong. 

I smell.  I need a bath.  A shower.  Where was that pond I passed yesterday?  Why don’t they put taps in parks anymore?  What caused me to be here?  What did I fail to see, or do?

Dad always said I’d amount to nothin’.  How did he know?  “Useless as tits on a bull,” he said.  “Thick as two bricks, and not much bloody smarter.”  Well, I guess he was right.  I can’t be too smart to have lost what I’ve lost.

There’s no way out.  I’m pretty sure.  I mean, what can I do?  I have nothing to give, nothing to make up for everything.  It was all going so well.  What went wrong?

The sun’s up now.  It’s getting hot.  Steam’s rising from the ground as the heat boils the dew.  I can’t go back there.  I just can’t.  They’ll do things to me I just can’t bear.  The pain’s too much.  I need some peace.

“George!”

Oh, shit!  She found me!  I can’t get up.  There’s nowhere to hide.

“George!  What on earth are you doing here in the garden?  You’re all wet, and what’s that on your face?  Ugh, you smell like turpentine, what have you been up to?  Everyone’s been looking for you.  You were going to play the organ for the dance.  Come along now, George.”

“But it all went wrong.  I’ve lost everything.”

“That was years ago, George.  You’ve got a nice home with us now.  C’mon, the nurses will help you.”