Never Too Late…

by Sarah on March 13, 2010

Florida, bird

Turtles

For an entire week I lived a life of a senior citizen of south Florida while visiting my ninety two year old grandfather, overdosing on relaxation and being hit on by fellows twice my age in his retirement community.  The trip wasn’t a holiday so much as a disconnection from the chores and errands which usually fill my normal day, leaving me feeling detached with a boredom I hadn’t felt since I was ten during my last week of summer vacation. But I wanted to spend time with my grandfather who I haven’t seen for three years and who, in his quiet way, is the pivot of the family because he is far removed from the emotional drivel that most people carry and able to give practical and useful advice.

Why it's not a good idea to kayak in Florida
Reason it’s a bad idea to go kayaying in Florida

He would tell me “not one of my friends is still alive, every one of them has died or has become an invalid” including my grandmother yet instead of spiraling into depression he has found new relationships and has continued to find interest in life.  His relaxed and accepting disposition is the reason of his longevity and certainly not his diet of meat and potatoes which has been attacked by doctors and health advocates for decades. “These are the golden days, not tomorrow or yesterday”, he tells me, whiling walking down the board walk at the local nature preserve hand in hand with his girlfriend, pointing out alligators and birds.

 New Love

Bird singing

While those around him are jaded by life or fixated on faded dreams and lost days, he enjoys himself without the jealousy and insecurities that taints happiness in insidious ways.  And through it all he has found romance bringing to mind the old cliché “it’s never too late” but this time around it is even better because now he has no responsibilities. I smile, for my grandfather at ninety two is having the time of his life.

Relaxing

At night I laid awake, jetlagged, my thoughts floating haphazardly unable to settle, but one keeps coming back…a simple observation my grandfather made “happiness is when reality exceeds expectations”, and I think this layman’s philosophy is just as brilliant as any studied in text books, a simple recipe to live your life.

Can you spot the alligator?

Can you spot the alligator

Gramps

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Celeste March 13, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Sarah,
I just love that your Grandfather has a girlfriend and the snapshot of them walking hand in hand is so very sweet.
Your other pics. brought back memories of our time spent in Florida.
All your pics of Floridian wildlife lived in our back yard, in the pond between us and the golf course.

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Hannah @A Mother in Israel March 13, 2010 at 3:50 pm

I just heard about all the lightning storms in Florida. Were there any when you were there?

Thanks for sharing this touching portrait of your grandfather.

-Hannah

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Nanette March 13, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Sarah your grandfathers wise words and full life have brought tears to my eyes. What a vibrant and fearless soul to be embracing love and life at the tender age of 92!

God bless him!

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Mimi March 13, 2010 at 11:28 pm

A lovely post, Sarah. I fell in love with your Grandfather too.

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Yael the Finn March 14, 2010 at 8:14 am

What a beautiful posting! It is so touching to read how your grandfather still knows how to cherish life:-)

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Sarah March 14, 2010 at 10:46 pm

thank you for your kind comments, I am lucky to have my grandfather and he is lucky to have Charlotte who is always so friendly and smiling. They understand the important things in life.

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Miriam/The Winter Guest March 15, 2010 at 1:35 am

Such an example! I want to be like him when I’m old (older…). I only wish I have the drive and the energy it takes.

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avital March 15, 2010 at 9:56 am

LOVE IT SARAH!!! gramps is pretty cool huh? i hope we have the longevity genes too!
LOVE YOU SUPER DUPER!

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Cmiranda March 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Thanks Sarah,
It’s people like your grandfather that sometimes make us stop and think and put things in perspective to make us realize what is important in life and to cherish the simple things each day brings.

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Zahavah March 17, 2010 at 3:16 pm

I always struggle with the expectations part of your grandfather’s equation. What sage advice!

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Emily March 18, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Gorgeous!

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