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Fiesty Old Men

Last weekend my parents came up to visit for the first time in years. We celebrated Easter at Randy’s and my house and my parents returned home on Sunday afternoon. Three days later my parents (and Dusty) were back again. This time, they came up so I could take them to a local hospital to visit my uncle.

Apparently, my mother’s brother was found on the floor, disoriented, last week. He’s 83 years old (his wife is 84 and continued working full-time until just last year). Anyway, he was brought to a hospital by ambulance but they neglected to tell anybody (“why make you worry”). The whole episode was caused by low blood sugar, and he’s doing well and should be returning home today.

I have to say, there is an element of the elderly mindset that I envy. We were visiting with my uncle when a student nurse came in to check his vitals. She said she’d need him to move from a chair to the bed so she could take his blood pressure.

He refused. He told her to do everything she could while he sat in his chair. If he had to move, she’ll just have to skip it that part of vitals check. He was friendly, yet abrupt about it, even added “sweetie” or “doll” some other such comment that would be offensive coming from a younger person, but comes off as somewhat endearing from the elderly.

And as my mom asked questions about whether he checks his blood pressure regularly, or eats right, or does those regular blood tests for diabetes, he just dismissed it all as unnecessary (with a smile). It’s as if he doesn’t care. He’s lived this long, he’s not afraid of death. He just plans to keep on going on as he always as.

I admire that. He doesn’t live in fear of disease or accidents or death. He just lives.

Speaking of lives….I got bored and checked the U.S. Census data for my childhood village. According to the 1970 census (the year before I was born), there was just over 1,200 residents in my hometown. By 2000, there were 4,088. Fortunately, there still isn’t a need for a single stop light in the entire village. And not a single Starbucks.

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