In A Retirement Home You Only See Forwards

There’s a lot going on in the retirement home in the two week countdown to the New Year holidays. This morning the management hosted the residents at a New Year’s toast accompanied by speeches and gift giving. I missed it as I was at the hospital getting a 5,000 kilometer service on my spine.

This evening at 5, in front of a full house of residents, the House Choir demonstrated the choral works they have been rehearsing this past year. Luckily the choirmaster drowned out many of the voices with his own. In between the numbers, various residents presented poems and songs they have written to bid farewell to this year and welcome the next.

Mary, aged 93, from the second floor, read a piece of prose she had written, “Oh, how we look forward to this coming year, a year of peace and good health, a year of good fortune and good food…” She got a hearty round of applause. Dorothy, 88, stood up, grabbed the mike and said, “This is the time to make all those resolutions that you intend to keep in the new year, to start eating healthier and cut the fries, to make nice green salads and most of all to dress well and look good at all times.” Big round of clapping.

Mike 98.5 years old and counting, fifth floor and one of the original residents (and who insists, “I’m gonna make my century easily”), said he had a list of good intentions that is too long to read out because he intends to reform himself and become a good citizen, “and in addition I’m gonna quit smoking and drinking that awful single malt whiskey that my son keeps bringing me!”

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