A Random Thought

Today I was reading a few of the short stories in John Grisham’s book “Ford County.” I came across a paragraph that struck a cord with me. Not exactly sure why, but it reminded me somehow of my Dad, of getting older, of basic human needs, of respect for our elders and a whole lot more.

This quote is from the story “Quiet Haven” about residents of an old folks home, politely called a Retirement Home or Retirement Village, but never a nursing home.

“Pill time is 9:00pm, and it’s one of the highlights of the day, at least for the residents. Most of us poked fun at our grandparents for their keen interest in their ailments, treatments, prognoses, and medications, and for their readiness to describe all of this to anyone who would listen. This strange desire to dwell on the details only increases with age, and is often the source of much behind-the-back humor that the old folks can’t hear anyway. It’s worse in a nursing home because the patients have been put away by their families and they’ve lost their audience. Therefore, they seize every opportunity to carry on about their afflictions whenever a staff member is within earshot. And when a staff member arrives with a tray of pills, their excitement is palpable.”

The subject doesn’t have to be about pills, but more about “anyone who would listen.” Hopefully it is a lesson we can all learn. We could easily be on the other end some day, longing for conversation, intelligent or otherwise. The need for social interaction never grows old.


One response to this post.

  1. Very insightful, Lauralee. ALlen and I have talked about how older people just love to talk, and you’ve nailed the reason; the need for social interaction never gets old. Great, thought-provoking post.


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