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92 Not out

January 16, 2013 2 comments

One day, at the age of 15, my half-brother scored 92 runs for South Moor Cricket Club’s first team. I thought that was a big score for his age and told him that I was delighted for him. 92 runs are a lot of runs but I am equally impressed if you have lived that amount of years on this tiny blue dot in the universe. 

It is the way of life that Colin, being 15, had his best years ahead of him, unlike the 92 year old who has not. An aged person is likely to experience pain, despair and loneliness in generous measure, however caring and considerate his or her family happen to be. Ushaw Moor residents in the first half of the 20th century were lucky to reach 65, never mind 92. In the 1930s a common age for men to die was 57; by the time they had reached that milestone they tended to be tired but not necessarily dispirited. And not necessarily lonely. You still had a community that cared rather than finding yourself being administered to by well meaning officials.

Community was all, in Ushaw Moor: however old you were there was a good chance of being visited by family, work colleagues and neighbours that cared. Your heart might have been on the verge of stopping, or your lungs may have felt like a disobedient dog, but you had human warmth around you and in you.

There is still a lot of human warmth about but too much of it is miles away and distracted by other things. These days, if you are one of the unlucky ones, you can be left with a birthday card, a Christmas card and your memories. As well as pain and energy loss.

The very old have a lot to give, especially if you ignore a few concepts held by that’outdated’ generation, but are alert to their perceptive and very wise comments.It demands patience, listening skills and love. Lots of love. We really are all on a journey with a terminus and should realise that virtually all of us will be dead by the time we are 110. Out caught in the slips by an away swinging ball.

WB

Categories: Memories