Today I was on Facebook and saw where an acquaintance’s grandfather had passed away. As I read the impromptu obituary/tribute to the man, I realized just how much of a bad ass this gentleman was and how important he was to this family. When I see “World War II Veteran” I pay attention because these individuals are a dying breed. This person was also a fisherman and would seek out those who shared his passion at family events to talk fishing and as I read this post I couldn’t help but think “how cool is this?” Can you just imagine all of the things this person has seen? All of the knowledge he possessed and the stories he could tell?
Every time I have the luxury of eating breakfast or getting a cup of coffee in a small town restaurant, I take note of the old timers sitting around a table in denim bib overalls and dirty hats telling lies and solving world issues before heading back to the tractor or the livestock. I’ll admit to being a nosey rosy and eavesdropping on their conversations because they are fascinating. There are not many of these old timers left.
Old men puzzle me sometimes. During deer season he saw plenty of deer to shoot at; not the giant bucks we had on camera, but many opportunities to pull the trigger and fill the freezer. But he didn’t shoot and I suspect I know why. At 81 he is in to this for the experience. He wants to watch a sun rise and set. He wants to sit undetected to a flock of turkeys jockeying for pecking order or to be able to say to the big doe that walked within range “I could have killed you….but I didn’t.” All of that plus spending time with me.
I give grandpa a call a few times a week. I don’t have a stated goal or number of times I reach out but I call to check in, see how many turkeys he has seen in the last few days and just connect. It’s good for both of us and serves to balance that version of wellness that includes our relationships and emotions. Connecting with people is essential to having balanced wellness. It may sound mushy gushy but trust me when I say if it doesn’t matter if you are the toughest of the tough; when your old timer is gone, you will shed a tear and wish you had made those calls a little more often.
Are you lucky enough to have an old timer in your life?
If so, pick up the phone and call them today!
It will do you both some good.