“Look at us, for heaven’s sake. We used to spend our time telling stories and laughing and having fun…These days we keep meeting in hospitals, nursing homes and funeral parlors. Let’s get a grip on ourselves and start having fun again.”
“Even holidays aren’t much fun anymore. I just got back from Florida and I found myself sitting watching the young people getting drunk and getting laid and having fun. I was like the old dog sitting on the porch watching the pups playing and having a great time. I don’t want to be an old dog watching the world go by.”
“It will probably get worse before it gets better. I was thinking the other day how we’re all like lobsters in a pot on the stove. Gradually, the water becomes hotter and the unsuspecting lobster is cooked. With us, arthritis slowly takes over, our hearing goes, our sight gets worse…and one day we realize we’re old…cooked!
“During the night someone—obviously a patient—removed dentures from the bedside tables or bathrooms of several of our patients and switched them about.” When the story was retold at the birthday party, Sandy dunked a cookie in her cup of weak coffee and smirked, “Sweet Jesus, picture it will you? All those old folks sitting at breakfast trying to eat their prunes with somebody else’s teeth.”
“Which one is Richard?” asked Bev as she tried to remember which of the patients her friend was talking about.
“He’s the poor bugger who sits by the front door all the time with the homemade sign that reads, ‘fifty dollars cash for ride home to Tweed,’” replied Sandy.
Bev said, “I guess you support my belief that in old age you only regret the things you didn’t do—not the things you did!”
“You got that right, sister! “ Sandy quickly responded. “We should have done more of the good stuff.”
“I was thinking the other day how life just kind of slowly but surely grinds you down and at some point you’ve had enough and just want to die. Especially in the winter. I remember when my grandmother found out she had terminal cancer and all she said was, “Well, at least I won’t have to go through another damned winter.”
“When we took our wedding vows we didn’t know what we were in for when they talked about in sickness and in health, and for richer or poorer. It seems to me just about everybody we know these days is sicker and poorer than we ever expected to be. What happened to all the healthy and richer stuff? Did I miss something?” Jane asked.