These four men have dinner with my 88 yr. old mom every night. Rounding out the dinner "group" is 97 year old Minna, the only other female at the table.
None of them looked their age. In fact, I was struck by what a nice-looking group this was and how spry they all looked!
After a couple of not-so-easy years getting used to living in "The Home" (Independent/Assisted Living facility), Mom has finally found her joy.....and, she owes a lot of it to this group of friends. They all seem to have really bonded together....and they adore my mom which thrills me to no end.
Not only do they eat together every night, but after dinner they sit and chat. Sometimes, weather permitting, they will sit outside in the pleasant Florida night air....or else they spend time in the "lounge" that is right next to the dining room. They enjoy this time together so much as it is filled, not only with great conversation, but lots of laughter....and, sometimes even a little singing. In fact, recently, one of the men has renewed his musical passion and has gotten together with two other harmonica players who have little impromtu concerts after dinner. They also enjoy going to the entertainment that "The Home" provides....musicians, comedians, speakers, etc.
And, after finding out that one of the men in the group was a good cook, they had a "private" dinner at Mom's condo one night where he prepared a delicious garlic pasta dish. Someone brought wine and Mom prepared a salad and dessert and they enjoyed a wonderful evening together....eating at tv tables (since Mom's one bedroom condo is quite small and without a dining area) while they savored this home-cooked meal.
So, you can imagine my delight in getting to spend time with these friends of Mom's while I was recently down in Florida last month. I loved getting to know these remarkable people and hearing their stories. They are quite a varied group made up of a retired dentist, a furniture salesman, and, even a door to door "peddler" from long ago. All had lost their spouses at one point and were now living and adapting on their own. I watched their faces as they each spoke about themselves and saw their "younger faces" behind the signs of the aging that had taken place..... leaving creases and wrinkles behind.
Now it seems as if a stronger "friendship" has developed with Mom and one of her "men". Lately, she sounds a bit like a teenager as she talks about what is going on at "The Home"...more specifically with this wonderful (I adored him when we met!) gentleman. I am now learning what "strong friendship" means when one is 88 and one is nearing 90....it is more about companionship than anything else.....and, I have to tell you that my happiness and joy for both of them is unlike any emotion that I have ever felt.....and, I am smiling now as I look at this picture of Mom's beautiful, smiling face. : )