Experiencing life with my parents ages 84 and 88 is so precious to me lately. This summer my mother-in-law unexpectedly passed away. I’m watching my father-in-law live courageously without the love his life. We all miss her so much. So, each time I’m with my mom and dad I selfishly want to be just with them, soaking in these precious stories and moments.
This weekend I was planning on having them to dinner…getting them out of their house. We all have been so cooped up. So I was surprised when I called them and my dad said, “Nancy, your mom has to go to an outing at church.” I had heard about Keen Agers; the polar opposite of Teen Agers, at least in age. At their church they get together for a wonderful meal, short devotional and entertainment…the kind of entertainment that 80 year olds like. Friday night was Mardi Gras and my mom wanted me to go with.
We entered a room filled with canes and happy older folks. Centerpieces adorned every table and all of us were given beads to wear. I did notice that women did seem to outnumber the men. I was greeted and no one said anything about me being… hmmm… decidedly younger. I didn’t know what to expect but there was lively conversation at all the tables… my parents introduced me to some of their friends as we found our seats. These people were new friends of my parents, not the people who I grew up with. My parents went to a different church when I was at home, and most of their best friends sadly have passed away. We ate a delicious meal of Jumbalya, a bit spicy for my Swedish parents, but the rest of us at the table loved it.
We then were treated to the local High School’s jazz band, playing some old standards. There was foot tapping, clapping and it all came to a close with a standing ovation. It took a while for everyone to get to their feet, but there was joy in everyone’s faces at this event. In fact the whole night was just ‘peachy keen’ , a new fantastic memory with my mom and dad and some of their new friends.
Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold. I still want to grow up and be like my parents.