Our 84 yr. old neighbor, Eldon, is a very active man, always working on his house or yard, and plays golf like I think we all wish we could. He loves it that we keep our yard nice and that we don’t back down from big tasks.
When he first met Stef, she had just moved into this house and was taking down a dying GIGANTIC oak tree in the front yard, pulling the rotting roots out with ropes attached to the bumper of her Volvo. “I’ve never seen a woman take on the projects that Stef has,” he told me. Of course, necessity is the mother of invention, and, when you’re raising 3 kids on your own, there’s very little money left over to hire someone to fall a tree for you so, with the help of friends, she took that big thing down without professional help. Eldon was impressed.
He and I are buddies. It distresses him, I think, to know that I am sick or hurt. When he came over the other day, my new knee still had the price tag on it, it was so new. Eldon looked at me. “So, how long you think you’ll be down?” he asked, “a week, maybe?”
I shook my ahead. “Not sure, Eldon,” I said, “It’s a whole new knee.”
He looked down at my leg all covered in bandages and ice packs. “Okay,” he said, “ten days, then.” I think it makes his world feel safer to know that we are on the road to recovery and not getting out of his sight for too long. He is a very dear man.
So, on this Thanksgiving, as I think back through all the memories of the Thanksgivings of my life and remember who and what I am thankful for, I want to say that I am also thankful for the older friends in my life – people like Eldon and Joanie, like my friend Marjorie who just left us – people who are kind enough to lend their wisdom and experience to me as I bumble and hobble along on this journey.
If you have older people still in your life, give thanks for them on this Thanksgiving Day, and give them a hug for me, too. JS