Archive | November 2016

Grandkids?

I never nagged my children to have children. I told friends it didn’t matter, that there was no need for my genes to be passed on — in the grand scheme of things, I felt it didn’t matter and I meant it. Not for the first time — I was mistaken.

mom-and-remy-sm

I was smitten

There is something about being a grandparent. How can I explain it? It’s like a magical chain that pulls you to a brand new baby born to your very own children. I looked at that little bundle and was smitten. That’s all it took. Who would’ve thunk it?

My lucky grandson is well-loved. He is also being raised well by his parents, who are doing a far better job than I ever did — which is an additional plus.

However, one of the unexpected pleasures I’ve derived is

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Rafi could sure hit that baseball

revisiting the memories of raising his dad, who was a smiling little one who rapidly grew into the kid who could hit that baseball all the way to Century City. (According to his coach.) Looking back at Rafi as a toddler and little boy made me love his son, Remy, even more.

How intriguing it is to have a grandchild. Genetics which skipped a generation showed up. My grandson inherited my teeth! His dentist calls them “sharks’ teeth”. My own adult teeth grew in behind, beside and in front of my baby teeth, which never fell out on their own, requiring braces to straighten out the mess that ensued.

sharks-teeth

Sharks’ teeth

I apologized to Remy for this. Wearing braces is no fun, and since his parents take good care of him, he’s had each baby tooth extracted when another threatens to come through, which I’m sure is no pleasure either. I’m truly sorry he experiences discomfort because of me — but he does so bravely and without complaint.

Still, I like to imagine that one day, long after I’m gone, Remy will perhaps be telling a grandchild of his own that he inherited my teeth, and his grandchild inherited them from him. Who knows, these shark teeth may continue for generations to come. (The good thing about mine is the roots are so deep I’ve been told they’ll never fall out —  so far, they haven’t.)

Don Quixote book, (no authentic image exists of Cervantes

I hope Remy reads “Don Quixote”. I loved it.

Besides my bothersome teeth, Remy seems to have inherited my love of reading. Hurrah! I hope he derives as much pleasure from this pastime as I have throughout my life.

Here’s to you Remy!

The Kindness of Strangers

stranger-in-red-coat

Stranger in a red coat

A stranger in a bright red raincoat came up from behind me as I plodded across the busy intersection as fast as I could, but not fast enough — the light had already changed to red. ‘I’ll walk beside you’ she said, ‘They won’t want to hit both of us.’

My knee is mad at me so I use a walker. It helps, not only with my angry old-lady-with-walkerknee, but also with my old balance disorder, which has caused many falls through the years. (That’s why my knee is so upset.) The woman realized I was having a difficult time and decided to help a stranger. Why?

In my neighborhood, many shops have handicapped door operators which you push to open the door. Still, passersby who don’t realize that often stop on their way to pull a door open for me. My favorite morning breakfast stop has one, which occasionally isn’t operative yet if I arrive early. (The activator is above the door — I think the staff can’t reach it.) A favorite, tall fellow patron, Greg, will get up and switch it on if he sees me coming. Nice….but why?

door-operator

Handicapped Door operator

The other morning, Greg noticed my walker wheels were caked with what he thought was dog poop. He warned me about it, but I continued reading. I’m such a passionate reader, I didn’t even notice when he and his pal Garth wheeled my walker out the door, cleaned it so I wouldn’t have to deal with it later, and brought it back in. (I’m hoping they were wrong, that what they cleaned was actually ground up wet brown leaves which gather at the sidewalk cuts I have to use.) Why did they bother?

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Bus drivers deal with some abusive riders

I regularly attend exercise classes at a community centre. I no longer drive. I use transit. How do bus drivers in this busy city who deal with mentally ill and abusive riders plus crazy traffic manage to stay so considerate? They wait until I’m seated before starting the bus. They patiently wait again for me to painfully rise and slowly back off the vehicle with my walker. (It was a bus driver who taught me that it’s the safest way to leave.)

This week I told a driver I wish I could sit on my walker on the bus. It’s higher and less painful to rise from. At my stop, she urged me to take the time to place it in a particular spot, set the brakes, and see if it would work. Not wanting to make her late, (they are on schedules) I told her I’d try it next time I rode a bus. Hey, it works. I hope I see her again so I can thank her. I’ve since used her idea twice. Why did an absolute stranger do this?

Then, the volunteer who sells coffee once a week at the center carries my coffee to a nearby table for me. It’s difficult for me to manage that and the walker — multitasking was never my thing. He says he’s not allowed to accept tips, I never ask him to do it, but he does it anyway. Why?

What makes so many strangers so kind? For one, I believe most people are inherently good. I also know that when I am kind to others, it gives ME a warm fuzzy. So it goes…..we give, we get. I am ever grateful to my wonderful caring family, to my friends, and especially those many strangers who are there for me. Warm hugs to you all!

chandra

My son’s beautiful wife Chandra who worked so very hard to plan a special 80th birthday party for me. She succeeded.