Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Jersey and Lucy

Our second-to-youngest grandson had a great idea while watching dogs, Jersey and Lucy, playing roughhouse in the family room__ “How about you and I take a trip to Tokyo, Japan this summer?” he had asked.

“Tokyo? Are you kidding. One of my neighbors just broke her leg while touring Russia. Another friend required emergency surgery in Germany while he was cruising the Rhine River. I’ve reached a stage in life where I’m happy to just tour the USA and Canada!”

“I’m not as energetic as I used to be!” I added as my primary defense. I much prefer sitting at my lap top pounding out another chapter to my books in progress.

The grandson was quick to point out Jersey and Lucy still running about the family room snapping playfully at each other. Jersey, at eleven-years-old, is the matriarch of the family dog clan: Jersey, Remy, Shilah, Lucy, Luna and Daisy. Lucy is younger, never stops moving, and her tail never stops wagging.

“Jersey and Lucy remind me of you and me,” the grandson said. “Look how Lucy energizes Jersey who was slowing down and content to just sit quietly and watch the world go by.”

The grandson had a point. Jersey had more energy recently. Her renewal reminded me of another observation that applies to senior adults. So many older adults gravitate to senior housing developments where most people are about the same age. I see the value of that living arrangement especially when the person is alone or deals with chronic issues. But I also see value watching younger families taking evening strolls past our home with infants in strollers and youngsters in tow. As the people stop and chat, both young and old derive benefit from the encounter.

I suspect that people live longer, are happier, and healthier when we live in a community with people of different ages and backgrounds.

When we get older we need a Lucy in our lives to strengthen our way forward.

Robert Parlante
June 2017

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