Sunday, July 20, 2014

Good Morning Jack

Letter to my Son
Sunday, 20 July

Never too old for somersaults

Good Morning Jack…

Should we roll older people down hills?  I’m picturing a grassy slope, not too steep.  We’ll lay them out lengthwise and give their creaky bodies a gentle shove to get them started.  Keep your arms tucked!  There you go.  Isn’t this fun?  Down the hill you go.  Don’t stop,  Keep rolling.

“That was wonderful.  I haven’t done this since I was a child.”

“I’m asking myself why I haven’t done this sooner.”

“Simple moments of pleasure like these make me less cranky.”

“I’ve got grass stains in my clothes.  This isn’t going to come out.  Mama’s going to be mad.”
“I think she’ll be alright with it.”
“No.  No, I don’t think so.  Here she comes.”
“Maybe she won’t notice.”
“She already has.”
“Frank, what are you doing?”
“I was rolling down the hill.”
“Yes, I saw that.  Don’t you think it’s just a little ridiculous; a man your age.”
“It’s therapy.”
“Therapy?  For what?  I’m married to a man who rolls down hills.  Look at your pants.  I just bought them.”
“Presoak them in a little Shout and I think it’ll come out, Mrs. Kettleman.”
“I should hope so.  I suppose this was your idea.”
“It comes highly recommended.  AARP.  All sorts of geriatric societies and health professionals.”
“He could have broke his hip.”
“The slope is very gentle.”
“Frank, you look clammy.  Are you having chest pains?”
“I’m fine, Mama.  In fact, I feel great.”
“You look dizzy.  Go sit down over there.”
“I do think maybe I shouldn’t have eaten all that chicken at lunch.”

There are significant benefits that come with childlike activities for our senior citizens.  Hill rolling is at the top of most everyone’s list for improving mental health.  We should also encourage other gentle exercises such as somersaults, hop-scotch, and even cartwheels.  Admittedly these motions increase in challenge and require a certain spryness.  Consult your doctor before attempting any of these exercises.  Also, it is best to have professional supervision for any geriatric kinematic program.  It is recommended that a chiropractor be on hand to massage, manipulate and soothe the inevitable sprains and strains that may occur.  Anyone having recent hip replacement surgery should limit themselves to playing in the sink.  You may splash water but you must be sitting down at all times.  Anyone found standing on wet floors will have their water privileges taken away for good.  I’m sorry but this is for your welfare. 

“Have we any questions?  Yes, Billy.”
“I have acid reflux.  Will this be a problem?”
“Good question, Billy.  We ask that no one eat within three hours prior to attempting somersaults and the like.  Food in our tummies can easily get disoriented and head in the wrong direction.  I don’t think any of us want that.  Clara?”

“Tony keeps putting his hand on my hair.”
“Tony we need to keep our hands to ourselves.”
“It’s not her hair.  I think it’s an extension.”
“Tony, shut up.  You don’t know.”
“It’s not even your color.”
“Tony!  Clara.  Let’s settle down.  Tony, keep your hands to yourself or you will have to leave.”
“I just want to have fun.  Can we go now?”
“Yes, I think it’s time we all went to the play room.  Walk!  No pushing.  One at a time through the door, everyone.  Robert – no walkers in the play room.  You’re holding everyone up.  Remember, pleasant manners make for smiling faces, people.”


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