I’m just gonna say it — I love old people.
Maybe that’s not PC but I feel better saying that than calling them elderly. Whatever the preferred term, I love em!
I have a very close relationship with my grandma Florence, who’s 96 years young. I grew up helping her in the kitchen, snacking on raw vegetables while she chopped them for her signature salad. That early exposure influenced my love of veggies and cooking. We’d talk and cook. She’d tell me about how she and my grandpa used to go out and back in the day; she’d smoke an occasional cigarette, socially of course.
I loved our trips to the grocery store and the Tuesday night dinners we had at her house (always eating around 5 pm and I’d be hungry again later when we’re back home).
She’s always been an encouraging, positive influence in my life. I see her every time I visit St. Louis, no matter how short the trip.
Drew and I have also spent a considerable amount of time with his grandfather Bill. We’d bring him candies, drink Whiskey and play Rummy. He recently passed at the age of 94.
I used to take frequent trips to Toronto for appearances on The Shopping Channel as the Sibu Beauty Spokesmodel. (Side note — I still use the products today. They’re amazing and worth checking out. Great for sensitive pregnant skin!).
He was the only one of his family still living in Toronto. He was quite lonely. Especially in the winter months.
I felt so lucky to have this consistent work so close to him. Each time I’d make a trip, I’d plan a meal with Bill. We go to a restaurant of his choosing. Just the two of us. He’d tell me stories of his life as a drummer and an insurance salesman. He always lit up when went back to those times.
Why are these intergenerational relationships so special?
Because of the conversations.
Because of the wisdom they share.
Learning how their childhoods were drastically different from mine.
And not for nothing, but the previous generations offer their complete attention when they’re in our company.
It’s a joy to hear about life from their perspective.
It’s not just family members either. Drew and I had a great friendship with a spunky, outgoing man named Herb Koss. Herb loved the theater and regularly attended shows at IOWest, where I was in a sketch comedy show. Our friendship grew and he became like family. We spent Christmas together; when my sister and I made lamb chops, we’d have him over for movie screening, we often went to the Hollywood Bowl together.
He, like us, loved to eat and travel. We shared stories of our worldly adventures over local meals. He was a joy. Herb passed 2 years ago while on a chocolate tasting trip in Switzerland. What a way to go. The man had style and he is missed. He was 83.
We live far from our grandparents and we really miss Herb. So, when I heard about a mommy and me group that was taking place at a residential community, I was intrigued. What an amazing idea! It would also make a heartwarming story for Spectrum. I had to check it out and share the experience. Take a look here.
The part where Ruth says “I gotta make this kid happy!” makes me tear up every single time. She’s right. We all have to focus on making our inner child happy.
So spend time with people who make you feel good. Laugh, daily. Be creative. Explore. Get outside. Have dessert. And most importantly, connect with people of all ages. I promise your life will be richer because of it.
When my baby is born, we will start to attend this special group. I can’t wait. And I hope someday I have young friends who visit me. Perhaps an adorable couple who just love spending time with old people? Quality time has always been my love language after all.