KingMidget's Ramblings

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Sometimes the Similarities Are Amazing

Over at Oliviaobryon Olivia O. is blogging about her trip to the Pacific Northwest.  Almost each post has struck a chord with me.  Whether it’s her visit to Olympia, where the beer of my childhood originated or her most recent post about her interaction with an old man while on a hike with friends.  First, it appears she was in Reedsport, which was one of our stops when my family visited Oregon a few years ago and, more importantly, is one of the reasons I must live along the Oregon Coast at some point in my life.  Such a beautiful part of the world.

But, there’s also the interaction with the oldster along the trail.  It’s so similar to my experience with my friend’s dad a couple of months ago.  The only real difference is that I’ve known Everett for most of my life, although not very well.  I don’t really have any memories of him interacting with Jon and I when we were younger.  In fact, I really only got to know him after Jon passed away.  On the other hand, Olivia O’s experience was with a stranger.  And these two old men apparently have the same thing going on — they are alone and don’t want to be.

There are three things about my visit with Everett that have stayed with me:

1.  How alone he is in an intimate, emotional sense.  He craves female companionship and friendship.  I spoke with him this week and he let on that there is a woman he believes may be interested in him and he is working on it.  I wish him the best of luck in that search.

2.  How, fifteen years after his only child passed away, he still craves a connection to him.  I’m working on putting together a gathering of Jon’s friends with Everett joining us so he can spend some time with us.  When I told him my idea, he cried.  He remains, a couple of months later, very enthusiastic and interested in this happening.  In August.

3.  That I need to get over my impatience with the elderly.  It’s one of my biggest weaknesses and I hate that it is there, but I just don’t have the time or desire to engage with older people.  When I sit down with Everett, I want to give him everything I possibly can to fill the holes in his life.  I can’t give him much, but I want to figure out what it is that I can.  I think my interactions with Everett may go a long way towards getting over this hurdle I have.

So, back to Olivia O’s post.  I totally understand her conflict.  Maybe, somewhere along the way we can all learn a little bit from it … it’s not a bad idea to slow down, to stop and smell the roses, to pause for a moment and spend some time with somebody who wants nothing more than time, an ear to listen, and a conversation.



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