What we all fear


He used to wake up bright and early every morning.Tidying his small, safe room, he expected his family to show up.Monday; Tuesday; Wednesday and Thursday - no one.Maybe Friday, he would hope.Surely, one child or grandchild would be there on the weekend.Some of them work weekends, though.Perhaps a sister or brother.He never partook in the senior home activities because he was sure someone would visit.How about a friend or old coworker?He couldn’t imagine how any of the others had time to play the games between watching their shows, napping, and most importantly, visiting loved ones.A niece or nephew?He thinks about his parents when they were in senior living.He would have visited them more - but his job was too demanding and his kids were young and very dependent on him.A Neighbour, maybe?Eventually, he decided to join the 9am crib tournament. The prize was jello or some other snack that someone else kept in their room.Some of the patrons attended the crafts class and had neat doilies that would spruce up his room.After a few months, he got to know the names of many of the seniors there.They would all share memories of their past lives as if no one existed but in that facility - except the seniors that did have visitors.Every one of them, himself included, would get excited to hear new stories of their good friend’s visitors.They all knew about these visitors and wanted to creep into conversations but kept a respectful distance.They dare not scare new stories away.
He now takes his walker out on calm days.His favourite sweater is wrapped around his torso and shoulders like his late wife used to.She picked it out for him because it brought out the slight green tint in his eyes.He is glad that the city keeps a bench down the block from his home.It takes him 11 minutes to walk there and he always goes by himself.Watching the city busses go by and the couples walking their dogs, he ponders his life actions.He has always been concerned with time because he always knew it would run out on him at some point.He didn’t go out much with his kids because he was always trying to either make money for his family or was too exhausted and broke.His wife and kids deserved the world and he sacrificed his time with them so he could keep them in a safe home with full bellies.He didn’t understand why they were still sad but now he does.After about two hours of watching other people go about their lives, he wished he could tell them all.Sure, money is always needed and important.You could always make back money but you could never get back the time you missed in making memories.