Every age has its beauty, and the struggles between generations have one taboo subject: death and everyone’s fear that the future moments might stop coming. As we are young and unconscious, we think our time is unlimited, so we do not care about our future or health.
Most want to age and die of old age. Others, usually teenagers, say vehemently they do not want to get older. Their statement is yet whimsical as if they were immortal.
Being old and helpless does not urge the elderly to desire death. Though you may often hear them talking about death as something inevitably accepted, they are scared of it in their hearts. We are all scared of death, and just as people avoid the subjects that scare them, so death is a masked taboo topic.
Life is beautiful, with its good and bad times, but we need the hard times to remember that. We will always find beauty in life, no matter the time of life we are in. Those who make hasty assertions do not realize that adulthood, besides weights, comes packed with many other accomplishments and beauties.
Past this threshold, one might probably realize he wants to live as long as possible.
In the regard of “youth vs old age” idea, I’m going to talk about 2 old people.
These 2 people, whom I love and sincerely admire (so much that I consider them my grandparents), are my father’s uncles and he’s 91, while she’s 86 years old.
I admire them because, at this golden age, they asked me to buy a laptop, they have a smartphone, and they often attend events. He worked in the army, and in the second part of his life, he was a writer, more precisely an epigrammist. She worked at a publishing house, later setting up her own publishing house. They have been surrounded their entire life by valuable personalities, and have traveled a lot for cultural purposes. They have been respected and admired but also loved.
Now he still writes epigrams, and she corrects them and still publishes his books. They have a house full of books and paintings, and the discussions with them are a delight for us.
Some consider them annoying, especially him, who sometimes only speaks in verse. When there are more people with them, they behave differently, probably because they do not feel in their element and therefore they become less authentic, less themselves, so the world perceives them wrong. When they are only with us, it is an incredible intellectual closeness and a kind of alliance against the world.
They live in a small, two-room apartment, which they keep clean, though they are barely moving. Every time we go to their house, I have my place on the couch next to my uncle, where my husband is not allowed to sit, only me (in a joke, of course).
I and my uncle start long discussions about art, painting, poetry, music and cultural events. While my husband and aunt talk about historical events they took part in. Every one of us is absorbed in the discussion and even if I do not always go to them with my heart open, every time I leave, I feel more alive and I love them more.
Do you remember the last article, in which I was telling you about an old woman, forgotten by the world? Well, my uncles too do not have children. We are their closest family. But they have replaced their children with friends from their circles. They always get visits from all kinds of families, some come from outside the country, from Germany, Paris, Australia etc. And for Christmas and other holidays, they always get greeting cards because people know they still love printed letters and greeting cards.
Although everything sounds extraordinarily beautiful and a true example of aging as anyone wants, well, things are not that pink.
The truth is that the families coming to visit are rather the children of their friends. Almost all of their friends have died. My heart breaks when I remember the last time when they told me that Mr… also died. Only in the past 6 months, 5 of their friends died, and one year ago, their best friend died, a sister-in-law, with whom they used to dine every Sunday.
It’s incredibly sad to put yourself in their place. Knowing that you are old and that you will inevitably die. Being aware that the time is coming and seeing everyone around you die.
It makes me think of vampires and immortality. We, humans, are superficial and unconscious when we say that we would like to live an eternity. Because what is life without other people, without your loved ones, without friends?
Likewise, we are unconscious when we say we do not want to get older. Everything is relative in this world. As I said before, they also seem to be emboldened with the thought of death, but they are equally scared of it.
And they are not necessarily scared of the experience itself or the after-life, but the fact that they will no longer be able to enjoy every little thing that meant their life. They are two young souls in some old bodies, who if tomorrow they could, they would run barefoot in the rain.
They are the only couple I admire and whom I find an example in a world full of anxieties. They are the only ones who give me hope that it is possible that after 60 years of marriage there can still be love. It sounds utopian, but it’s for real. They nag each other, make fun of each other, sometimes get upset, but never too seriously. It passes quickly, and even when they are upset, if you ask one about the other, you will see flashes in their eyes and hear only words of praise.
Don’t know much about the conclusion. Reading what I wrote, I see chaos. But one clear thing is that I’m sad about the subject and, at the same time, I’m glad that life gave me the chance to get to know them. I have always liked older people, not all of them, of course, but they outweigh any measure.
I wish you and especially young people, who exclude the elderly from society and do not offer their due respect, to stumble upon people like this.
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