Rocky and I are How Old?
On Friday, Rocky turned 4 months old and I reached twenty-eight years of age. We went out to dinner to celebrate, but the experience was far from what I had expected.
The restaurant looked lovely from the gate which led to the establishment’s beautiful grounds and outdoor seating (something we always look for in order for Rocky to be able to join us). Marko turned to me, “Well, what do you think, should we eat here?”
I nodded in agreement to the suggestion, “Yes, looks nice.”
This decision was quickly called into question. We chose seats and upon asking our waiter for menus and indicating this was for dinner not just drinks, he replied with a noise. Not a grunt exactly but it was definitely an audible noise and one I associated with disgruntlement.
Marko and I shared a glance, but undeterred we opened the menus for review. Veal, Lamb or Sea Bass, those were the only 3 options. For me, that really only left Sea Bass or Lamb with the idea of eating a baby cow seeming unfathomable. We placed our orders.
It was at this point that I finally had a moment to look around and to my surprise noticed that while the restaurant was fairly busy we appeared to be the only people under the age of 60. Just at that moment, a nurse pushed a man in a wheel chair up to the table next to us.
I realized at that point, that we may have accidentally selected a retirement home at which to eat dinner. Now, this might not have been too terrible, but being faced with the aging and the already over the hill while you are having a birthday and contemplating your own aging, is a bit unsettling.
I continued to periodically glance at the man next to us in the wheel chair, gripped by his expression of misery. He was easily in his 80’s and very clearly unable to care for himself anymore. It pained me a little to observe him and I wondered why he looked so unhappy.
I began creating fictitious reasons for his depression. Had he outlived his wife? Did his children not visit? Was he miserable from the loss of independence? Could he no longer taste food?
It was then that our own food arrived and after a single bite, I quickly came to the conclusion that his despondent expression was likely from the experience of this establishment’s food. I struggled my way through the meal.
Before we left, we took Rocky over to meet the man and his face lit up. He was thrilled to see Little Dog Rocky. Rocky was quick to return the enthusiasm, greeting him by licking the old man’s wrinkled and kindly outstretched hand. It was as if Rocky’s tongue gave him an electric shock, recharging the old man with life.
This reminded me of how grateful I am to spend my days with this mobile smile factory on paws and I was glad that I was able to share this with this stranger.
That evening, when we returned home I went through the photos that I had captured of the day with a new appreciation of my blessings. I will share some of my favorites with you:
“Come on Mom! Let’s go, no pictures, I just wanna play!”
Marko drew me a flower. He knows that I adore his little doodles.
We enjoyed coffee at a little cafe. Rocky was allowed to come inside. The sun was shining so we got out to enjoy it. Cock tails to celebrate, anyone?