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I was really struck by you post. I enjoyed reading the events as well as your thoughts on the matter. I find that at this point in my life that I think more about the treatment of older people than I did when i was in my twenties. I search my memory to try and recall how I treated elderly people when I was oh so invincible. As I've said before we have such an advantage over our predecessors because of the internet and the many avenues of communication that it provides. We are able to sit in our homes with the sense of belonging and the ability to know so many people we have never met in person.
I wondered if these economic times had anything to do with the plight of the man in the wheel chair; if perhaps there was a family member who could only afford one train ticket. Was this gentleman being sent to another family member so that some one who was able could take care of him? the fact that the attendant was there to help him leads me to believe that whoever put him on the train had made arrangements for him to be helped when boarding and departing. Like you I wonder what awaited at the end of his journey. Also like you I hope the journey' s end resulted in a good beginning.
When I was in the hotel business I once worked in an area where there were quite a few assisted living centers. We always did a Christmas Buffet, ( not my idea!) The majority of the of our guests were families who were out with a grandmother or a grandfather or both. In this situation my mind would wander and I would sometimes think that the true service we provided was to give families the opportunity to pick up their parents, bring them to Christmas Dinner for an hour or so and them take them back to the assisted living center having fulfilled their Christmas obligation. Not a great holiday thought but it was one of the many scenarios that went through my mind. Having to work as I did on Christmas never made me happy. It was one of the longest and hardest days of the year. To be sure there were also three generations of families that came for dinner and were very warm and loving, and celebrated the day for what it truly was. It just seems that onedays that are meant to be joyous and festive; any unhappiness or sadness that exists really stands out.
Thanks for your post Intersan, for me it was very poignant and thought provoking.