Ron’s Time Tunnel: The Loveseat Part I

LOVESEAT

The tragic thing about Gramp was that, as she grew older, her memory started to fade; not her long-term memory. She never forgot those old stories but she did forget my name sometimes. During her latter years, I had ventured off into the “wild blue yonder” of the United States Air Force and only returned home twice a year at the most; so it wasn’t entirely unexpected that she would forget me. When I would return home on leave and knock on her door, she would open the door to, what for her, must have seemed a familiar face; but one she could not, for the life of her, recall a name for or where she recognized it from. She would greet me at the door; smiling that gold toothed smile, and welcome me warmly into her home. I could see the questions and confusion peeping through the smiling brown eyes, but she was too kind and polite to ask outright, as might have a less genteel host, “Who are you, and what do you want at this hour of the night?”

Eventually, after having offered her “uninvited” guest a “co-cola” or a glass of water and a seat on the worn, familiar sofa or one of the two, “Naugahyde” recliners lining three of the four walls of her quaint domicile, she would eventually get around to asking, albeit apologetically, “Now, who did you say you were?” To which I’d answer, “I’m Ronnie, your grandson; Fletcher’s oldest son”; being careful not to let any impatience, frustration, or sarcasm seep into my tone.

Then her brown eyes would flash with recognition and a smile would slowly spread across her kindly, golden toned face as she would chime, “Oh yes, you’re the one in the Army?” “Yes Gramp”, I would answer, not bothering to correct her on which branch of the military that I served in. It didn’t matter. I was home, here was Gramp and old stories were sure to be on the evening’s agenda. Anyway! In Cuthbert—my home town—everyone who was in the military was in the “Army”, as far as the citizenry was concerned.

The following story, entitled “THE LOVE SEAT” took place as I was visiting a friend’s mother in the nursing home. I sat in the “TV” room/lobby and waited while the Nurse’s Assistants changed my friend’s mother’s bed. As I sat on the LOVE SEAT I met a lady who reminded me of my Grandmothers; Nancy (Raytakka), Mollie, and Annie. Please enjoy THE LOVE SEAT:

     I never got her name, but as I sat there on the small “love seat” in the dayroom of the nursing home, or “Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center”, as some nursing homes are now called, she came and sat down beside me. She held her big red purse close to her chest with a white-knuckled grip that I’m sure would have caused me a degree of pain, had we shaken hands. She held that purse as if it contained a million dollars, or her life’s savings. She held it as if she believed that loosening her grip would have allowed the purse to just grow wings and fly away.

She sat down and immediately began an unsolicited conversation with me. I don’t know what made her choose me. Maybe I just looked friendly to her, or maybe I reminded her of the son who’d deposited her there in the “healthcare and rehab” and then forgotten her. Maybe this was her seat and it was I who was trespassing, or maybe there was just nowhere else to sit. I had not looked around, prior to her arrival, to see if the latter was the case. She whispered to me in a surprisingly strong, raspy voice, considering that she was a small-framed lady, with not much else covering her brittle bones except the thin, blue-veined, cream colored skin of a Black lady, through whose blue veins much Caucasian blood flowed. “You know I’m 92 years old?” she rasped. “What?” I’d replied in surprise.

“She gets around well for one so aged” slid a thought through my mind…

Please come back next week  for the conclusion to “The Loveseat”

16 thoughts on “Ron’s Time Tunnel: The Loveseat Part I

  1. Ron this one touched me deep man. It spotlights the emotional, social, and humane importance of our elderly who are too often, way too often cast aside when they have so much to contribute.

    Your description of the elderly woman holding her big red purse close to her chest and starting an unsolicited conversation is a very real situation that is played out hundreds of times a day across this country. And the saddest part of most of these people’s situation is there is nothing wrong with them – they were put a “read” (past tense) bookshelf by their own flesh and blood because they couldn’t be “bothered with.

    You’ve tackled a rarely blogged about subject here – and that’s a great thing. This is an issue that needs exposure and you my brother, are doing the exposure big time justice.

    You know I’m waiting for Part 2 man – You wrong for teasing us and making us wait for something so damn interesting LOL but that’s cool – T and I will just let you buy the beers at the next stop which you will be more than able to afford because with writing like yours you’ll have gotten a big check from someone for it!

    Awesome topic man – on the real.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks G! It is a topic which pains me as well. My own father spent a year in a “rehabilitation facility” following a serious stroke. At the time, we felt we had no choice, but in retrospect, there are always other options. In some cultures the elderly are held in high esteem even catered to. There’s a certain continuity of values and lessons learned that is retained from generation to generation when we honor them as in those certain cultures.

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      1. I don’t know when or why we decided that elderly and sick people have no value.

        You can learn SOOOOO much from a person who has lived for years and has been there and done that. Ron, I mentioned this at our Grandmother’s funeral, so forgive the rerun but I remember her looking at me when I was about 19 years old and saying “Umph…Baby you got it ALL to see.”
        I had no idea what she meant then but let me tell you, as a forty something I can shole tell you what she meant now.
        Hell at that point, she was about 78, so I still haven’t seen much of what she speaks of. And to think, she lived to be 100 years old!
        Anyway, people who are transitioning to the next stage due to illness can teach us a lot as well. From experience, I can tell you that many healthcare workers don’t have any reverence for the dying at all.
        Let me hush before I run smooth the hell out!
        Clearly, I feel some kinda way about this whole topic.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I have always gravitated toward older people all my life. One of best “boyz” in D.C. was a man 30 years my senior who sort of adopted me as his grown kid. This dude was like 69 at the time and had prostrate cancer but it never immobilized him. He taught me so much about life, the streets of DC, women, and overall how to get the best bang out of life. He was a former Marine that lived in this bachelor’s home with me and a bunch of other guys.(some of them were hardcore street gangsters) but everybody loved “Pops” cause he always had some knowledge that you could use. And dude straight knew how to have a good time. He was pulling in “honeys” my age not because of money but because they found him so damn interesting. I miss that dude like I miss a Father.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. How lucky you were to have been exposed to that kind of wisdom during those days.
          I’ve been peeping this blogger named Brother Askari. I think he’s older and he always posts profound pics and sayings.
          I noticed that he doesn’t get a lot of likes —smh.
          Check him out G, if you haven’t already. He’s on WordPress.
          His ‘about’ says he actually served as a griot in a school system. Now that’s progressive.
          Always a pleasure chopping it up with you G.

          Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re right to cherish them while they’re among us Lennon. If only more of us would do or would have done the same thing. Gwin and I tossed around a theory about “shortened generational spans”. Maybe we’ll feel confident or courageous enough to broach the topic openly soon. Right Gwin? lol (not putting you on the spot Cuz!)

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Dats right cous! Actually, you coined that phrase while we were talking about our collective experiences working with vulnerable populations.
        Of course we’re gonna talk about that and more. Let’s get together and work something out 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ron I’ve already told you this but I am going to repeat it here. I thought this was a beautiful post and I really did have to maneuver tears and snot while posting it. Again, I remember that “gold-toothed grin” so clearly. I wish I knew her better though.

    Your mother and grandmothers are so fortunate to have a son who can articulate such lovely words to describe them.

    Your writings are so masterful and so thoughtful. I am so happy to have you on here. You really could be anywhere but you are here and I am so happy!

    Love you!
    Gwin

    Liked by 2 people

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