SENIOR MOMENTS: Masked Meetings at the Park

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By PHIL SHIGEKUNI

For the past few years, a few of us senior men have met together at a restaurant on Thursday mornings for breakfast. This seemed a little strange for men to be doing this, but the men who came seemed to enjoy having this time together.

Then with the coming of the pandemic we, of course, were unable to continue with this. The men seemed to want to continue meeting, so we started meeting a local park instead. After a time, my wife Marion joined us along with two other women.

We, of course, wear masks and maintain the required 6 feet between us. With the holidays approaching we talked about how we could meet our families during these days. Some of us are able to Zoom frequently, but, or course, yearn to see one another in person.

Julie, our younger daughter in Albuquerque, said she wants to visit, but neither boarding a plane, or driving and having to stay over at a motel seems safe. Right now, it looks like we will be gathering in our backyard with Miles and Emiko, our grandchildren.

One topic our group gets into is our relationships with our children. We seem to all agree that the older we get, the more control they want to have over us. Ten years ago, when I was in my mid-seventies, daughter Laurie told me I was not to drive by myself any longer. Then recently, while observing my driving from the back seat, she was upset when I made a couple of last-minute lane changes. Now she says she does not want me to drive unless Marion is next to me monitoring all lane changes.

Laurie says she is only trying to keep me from getting into some terrible accident. While I can understand her concern, I somehow think she is assuming that because I am past the mid-eighties, I am automatically doomed to certain disabilities — a form of “ageism.”

So I must, on the one hand, realize and appreciate her concern for Marion and me, and on the other take an honest look at my real capabilities.

There seemed to be an agreement in the group about how our children, while attempting to be helpful, came across as “bossy.” It seems the eldest child was the one who naturally fills this role.

A senior man mentioned how he is given gifts from his children that were not needed or appreciated, although he could appreciate the gifts as tokens of their respect and affection.

So, in spite of all the negatives, COVID-19 has has given a few of us a chance to share a part of our lives.

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Phil Shigekuni writes from San Fernando Valley and can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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