Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live to be one hundred, or a hundred and five or ten years of age, really old?
Your immediate family have all died. You've out-lived your wife by forty years. You can hardly remember her, you've even forgotten her name but you've never forgotten her face. You don't miss her anymore though, you gave up mourning her a long time ago.
Your daughter, maybe she died soon after birth, that was some eighty years ago. You thought you were holding her in your arms yesterday.
You haven't seen your son since you booted him out of the house sixty-years ago because he wouldn't conform. To what you've forgotten. You wonder if he is still living or dead. You will never know, because he'd be nearing ninety years of age if he were still alive today. You'd forgive him now. You'd tell him that you're sorry and that you love him but you're too late. You'd ask him to come back home, that his mother misses him terribly.
Your other son, he used to come to visit, but you were so damn miserable to him he stopped coming. He still does, don't get me wrong. He drops by at Christmas for an hour or so with a present, and a promise to come by again soon, but he's now old himself and has his own family, who all call him grandpa.
You've out lived most of your grand children. They never really knew you, you were only mentioned once or twice in their entire lives, you being something they did not discuss.
The company you retired from has long ago folded. A condo now stands where you worked in the service station fixing cars for years.
The house you built with your bare hands has been demolished.
You can't even remember if you had a car or not. You think you did but they took your drivers licence away twenty-thirty years ago after the accident you caused.
You've been living at a home for the elderly for so long now you call it home and sleep in a hospital bed. You're so old you can't even get out of it. Your bones break easy, your muscles are weak. You're sore.
You don't know these people. They feed you food that you can no longer taste. They wash and dress you but you have no where to go. They change your diapers for you, you can no longer do it yourself. You're always cold.
Your eyesight is so bad you can't read, even with glasses. You don't even have the urge to read anymore. You don't understand Television or the Computer. You have a phone on your bed side table but you can't read the dial, it doesn't matter, you have no one to call. It never rings.
Everyday they put you in a wheelchair and wheel you over to the window. You sit looking out the window daydreaming all day. Days are endless, days turn to night, then morning comes again and your fussed over by these strangers all over again, to sit and look out the window and dream of a time when you were young, healthy and happy. Those far away memories, the good times are coming back to you more and more, it's the day to day things that you keep forgetting.
You think your wife is by your side. It's only a broom propped up in the corner. Yes, you've forgotten her name but you've never forgotten her face. In your eyes she's still beautiful as ever.
Yep, you never want to get too old, if that's what getting old is all about, lingering.
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