{February 22, 2013}   Stroke THIS.

I love old people. I find them interesting and at times hilarious.  I have been working a lot of flights to Florida, bringing the Snowbirds back and forth. So, there are senior citizens everywhere!  It’s not unusual to have a dozen wheelchair requests on those flights. 

Some grannies give me advice by telling me not to get old as it is NO fun getting old.

Stereotypical, some oldies complain about EVERYTHING.  The seat is too far back in the airplane.  It’s too close to the washrooms.  They need an aisle seat. It’s too cold, etc.

Then, there are the seniors who are so funny without even trying. I helped an elderly couple onboard yesterday.  They needed wheelchair assistance to and from the plane but had to hold onto seats and my arm to get to their seats. For real,their seats WERE really far back. They took their time and finally got to their seats huffing and puffing.  The old man took the windows seat. He asked me how many were in our crew. I told him 3 flight attendants and two pilots.  He reached into his bag and then pulled out 5 Chapa Chups lollipops and instructed me to hand them out to the crew.  He acted like he was the most generous man in the world.  Then he took out one more lollipop and handed it to ‘the young man’ who was sitting in the aisle seat. He said: Here. You look like a nice man!

Finally, the old man’s wife was making her way to the seat. Except, she seemed to know a lot of the other passengers onboard. She stopped every few rows to catch up with those people’s news. I heard her say things like: How’s your mother’s hip replacement going? And, how many grandchildren do you have now? Etc. Meanwhile, since she walked as quickly as a snail, there were about 20 passengers behind her and she was oblivious to this!

She finally sat down and saw the sucker in her young seatmate’s hand. (young man was probably around 40 or so). The old lady turned to the guy and said in her best Estelle Costanza voice (Seinfeld-George’s mum): Oh, you got a lollipop too, I see. You big baby! The passenger and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. 

Another time, I had an older couple onboard in business class.  The wife walked in and sat down first. Then the husband got wheeled to the aircraft door and walked to his seat. But,he walked really lopsided. His speech was slurred and he drooled slightly. This couple was probably only in their late 60’s. I figured the man probably had suffered a stroke. I felt really bad for him because of the way he walked and talked,  he appeared mentally challenged.  

At first, I thought his wife was a bit rude because she was very aloof and she didn’t help him do simple tasks that were difficult for him to carry out,  like put on his seatbelt. But, then, I realized that she loved him enough to try to give him his independence.  I am sure when he first became ill, she probably didn’t know how to help him. Perhaps he was stubborn and didn’t want to receive help. The only thing she said to me about him, was to not fill up his coffee too much.

One of the flight attendants noticed that he was wearing an ‘olympics’ ring that they only give to the athletes. Kinda crazy, that, in his youth, he could have been a strong celebrated athlete. And now, in his twilight years, strangers pity him and think of him as an inferior human. It must also be hard for his wife too. Her life, as she knows it, is changed forever too. Can you still love the drooling man the same way you had?

As a nice treat, I had that couple on my flight a week later and brought them home. I would have loved to have had a conversation with the man, but it was too difficult to understand him. But, it was obvious that his wife understood him, in more ways than one.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

et cetera
%d bloggers like this: