Ida stood looking out of the living room window. The winter scenery had stolen the spring beauty of her scenic view. The lush green grass had turned to is autumn brown, and was covered by the decaying leaves dropped by the corner lot oak tree. Refocusing her eyes, she could see her reflection looking back at her. A woman far from her prime. She personified the landscape that seemed to mock her. She remembered her youth. That was when everyone wanted to be her friend. All she had to do was smile, and people naturally flocked to her. Times were easier back then. Now, she was the 84 year old woman who everyone ignored.
“We never have time for the old.” She whispered.
She could remember the times that her parents would ask her to stop by for a visit. Although she had the time, she never did. Soon, they were gone. Her father then her mother, both were buried in the family cemetery. That’s where she planned on being buried. She knew someday she would get to see them again. Someday… just not today.
Ida’s children were all grown up and their children were having children. Often times, the grandchildren would comment on how Ida couldn’t remember the names of her own great-grandchildren. How could she? They only came to see her twice a year. They may as well have been strangers asking her to buy cookies.
“No one visits the old.” She calmly stated.
Ida stopped staring at the woman in her reflection, and refocused on the scenery. Life goes by quick. Life goes by too quick. One minute you are young and full of life, the next your family shoves you in a nursing home and forgets you. If it wasn’t for the nursing staff Ida wouldn’t see anyone for months. It gets depressing. Wake up. Take pills. Watch TV, read the paper, or put puzzles together. She looked at her puzzle table. She use to wonder why old people put puzzles together, and why they crocheted all the time. She now knew the answer. Time is all that she had. Her husband had passed on and left her with a good amount of money. She wasn’t rich, but she had enough to get by on. It paid for the nursing home and some extra essentials. Funny part is the children think that she is loaded and they are going to be set for life from her death. Sometime it felt as though they only visited to remind her who to write the will out to.
“Thy will be done.” She whispered as she chuckled at the play on words.
They say that depression is common amongst seniors. With the manner in which society treats the seniors, is it any wonder why? Ida ran this thought through her head several times. She missed her husband dearly. There were times that she could still hear his voice. She watched as nightfall covered the outside scene. She hear the clock chime. It was five o’clock. She had been standing at the window for two hours. She stepped to the kitchen and made herself a sandwich for supper. As she ate her sandwich she looked around her small unit.
“Well, I have a roof over my head, and food in my belly. I should be thankful.” She told herself. “But what good is life if you have no one to share it with.”
Her life felt empty and wasted. She felt as though she was thrown away. Someday her children would grow up, and their children would put them in a home and wait for them to pass on so that they could claim their inheritance. And. the cycle would continue. It has always been this way. Society has never talked about it. No one wants to talk about growing old. No one wants to think that they may be thrown away in a home by their children, left and forgotten. Ida smiled.
“I can’t wait to leave this place.”