I don’t encounter many 6’4,” 84 year-olds wearing plastic, measuring tapes for suspenders. So this guy at the mall definitely caught my eye. Okay, maybe I stalked him but he fascinated me. He walked with such a brisk, and jaunty pace that I wondered why he carried a cane in the first place. Just in case? To be stylish? I followed him past the Apple store, J Crew and La Coste. He paused to look at the merchandise in all of those windows. However, as he rounded the corner at Victoria’s Secret, he kept his head down until he was safely past the last brassiere. That’s when I went up and said, “Hi. May I take your picture?”
For several, long seconds he didn’t say a word. I thought he might be deaf. Nope. Slowly, a very, worried look clouded his face. “Gosh,” he said. “I guess so. If you want to but my clothes aren’t very clean.” “That won’t show,” I assured him while looking closer at his shirt and pants. Actually, not only were they impeccable, his trousers were ironed! I was intrigued. I took several photos of him and while he seemed to enjoy the attention, he never really smiled. He also didn’t ask why I was taking them, what I might do with them or even if he could have a copy. This was a guy truly living, ‘in the moment.’
He told me his wife had died but he was “really good at taking care of” himself. “Take my vitamins. Eat oatmeal. You know, all that stuff.” He doesn’t watch TV because, “It makes you go dead in the head.” He always irons his pants because, “They look better if I do. At least that’s what my mama used to say.” His motto? “Keep Moving . . .otherwise…well… you know what happens. . .”
When I learned how he spent his morning just before he hit the mall for his daily walk, I was surprised. So, dear readers, I will let you guess for yourselves:
- Knitting an afghan
- Preparing a possum stew
- Building a bird house up a 10’ tree
- Sewing curtains for his living room
Albert Einstein said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you have to keep moving.” Yup.
Just wait until I get there and I would love to have my pic taken, too. That’s 20 years from now.
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Standing tall, looking healthy, and living his life. Kudos to him.
Yes, and to think so many men his age are in nursing homes or hunched in front of a TV…..he sets us all a good example.
Thought this was very special and thank you for sharing, Warm wishes, Tasha
For the record, Tasha, I think YOU are very special.