Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'll take your Nixon and raise you a Roosevelt!

Today at the Ridge we served lunch as usual, but set up a borrowed big-screen TV in the dining room so the residents (and staff) could watch the historic inaugaration of our 44th president. As we listened to the oaths and speeches, I was uncertain what to expect. It is no secret these elders are from an era where equality was unheard of and prejudices were not only accepted, but expected.

But as I looked around the room at wrinkled face after wrinkled face cupping their hands to their ears so as to hear every word spoken by our new president, I could tell none of that mattered. They were proud. Proud to live in a country where anything is possible, and proud to have lived so long to have witnessed not just this historic event, but so many others that came before it.

Our oldest resident was born during President Roosevelt's second term. TEDDY Roosevelt's second term. Isn't that just incredible?!? My grandmother (who also happens to be a resident at Rock Ridge...I'm so blessed) witnessed her 17th presidential inaugaration today, with the first being Woodrow Wilson's. Just think of the life experience they have! Although I live with the wisdom and experiences (and shenanigans!) of these seniors every day, I rarely take the opportunity to reflect on that. I'm grateful I was able to today. (It also made me feel like an infant that Nixon was president when I was born. Seriously. How does he compare to TEDDY frickin' ROOSEVELT!?!)

And just to prove my concern of intolerance was way off the mark, one 94-year-old sweetheart leaned over toward me as she gazed at President Obama on the big screen and said "He sure is a handsome man, isn't he?"


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

My 9-year-old son likes to ask my 86-year-old Dad things like "Did they have trick-or-treating back in your day?"

(They did. I didn't know for sure. I never thought to ask!)

My Dad lives in Phialdelphia and we went to visit him last Sunday, when The Iggles were gonna play the Cardinals in the NFC Championship game. We got there about an hour before game time.

The home had all of the interested residents lined up in front of the Big Screen TV in the activity room. Must've been 25 of them; they had soft pretzels, soft drinks - an elders' tail-gating party.

Dad was in the front row. But we wheeled him out for our visit, which lasted all of 15 minutes because he didn't want to lose his primo spot!

Luckily, his friend saved his spot for him.

Shortest visit we ever had with him.

My Dad proudly voted for Obama in the primaries and the general election and I'm sure they were all lined up in front of that Big Screen TV yesterday, too.

Sarah said...

I got chills. That's crazy - Teddy. Wow.

Alisa said...