I may have mentioned this to you recently, and some of you know this from other contacts with our family, but our oldest daughter Hayley gave birth to twins recently. They were both a little over 4 pounds. One is a girl. One is a boy.
Everyone did great, and is great, and they are already 5 pounds each. The event essentially doubled our family’s grandchildren because our next youngest daughter had two girls now 6 and 8 years ago.
I visited the newborns recently and was looking at their tiny hands and wrinkled fingers and thinking about what those hands may do in a lifetime. At Garden Terrace, our residents also have wrinkled fingers, but they are also calloused, discolored and misshapen. They have accomplished so many amazing things.
If you do the math, 145 residents times an average age of 75 equals 10,875 years of life experience on this earth is now living in our building. A while back, I asked the residents to tell me what jobs they had done in their lifetime and this is part of the range of replies:
Usherette, credit clerk, bus driver, maid, nurse, cook, railroad worker, waitress, bartender, taxi driver, machinist, minister, raised horses, photo shop manager, fruit packer, caterer, legal secretary, sign painter, meter reader, electrician, farm labor, water treatment, teacher, publisher.
The list continues: beautician, babysitter, bookkeeper, Sunday school teacher, painter, landscape designer, cashier, Cub Scout leader, transportation manager, adult daycare, preschool aid, career Air Force, submarine mechanic, aircraft mechanic, auto mechanic, heavy equipment operator, police officer, housekeeper, janitor, hostess, mother, father, computer sales, hobo, etc.
It is no wonder that their hands and fingers are calloused, discolored, and misshapen. And think of the stories they represent and the people that were impacted by those 10,875 years of living. It’s almost as overwhelming as looking at the bright stars on a moonless winter night.
So here I am now wondering what bright light the tiny wrinkled new twins’ hands will bring to this world and what stories they will be able to share in their senior moments.
Ken Neher is executive director of Garden Terrace Senior Living in Wenatchee.