I’m going to miss the old folks

As you know we are moving soon. There are many things I’m going to miss leaving Blackebergs Gårdsväg, most of which I have thought about for a while now.

Today as I was walking over to our storage (it’s two houses down the road), I heard an old woman sing. I heard another old woman laugh. I heard one old man call for his caretakers and one doing (very loud) small talk with a relative (I suppose, I didn’t hear the other person, it might even have been on the phone).

What I didn’t hear was the regular moaning and screaming for help that we also hear from time to time. Living here has given me a window into the horrors of being old and dement. Hearing old people scream because they don’t recognise the people that try to help them is heart breaking. Why I didn’t hear this on my walk this morning I don’t know, maybe the warm weather also makes the old people happy.

Now that I have been at home with our daughter I have seen more of the old people. During the day some of them are taken out for a walk or a roll. (Most of them are in wheelchairs). Some of them really enjoyed talking to us. Others are just sitting outside in the garden, saying hi and looking happy as we reply.

It has been special living next to this huge house full with old people during last period in life. I heard from one of the staff that most of them living there only live there a few months or less before they die. That is how it is in a home for people that need care at the end of their life.

The old folks home

Here you can see the house behind our house and on the right of Susanna.

I’ll miss you. Not like your relatives will, but as a stranger who you smiled at and whose daughter you made laugh.

Happiness in little things.

Today was a beautiful day, just as all of you who went outside in Stockholm already know. We, that is my daughter and I went for a walk in the afternoon, mainly to get some groceries, like most days. As it was warm I thought of carrying her on my shoulders instead of the sling. (I did bring the sling just in case though).

On the way home I let her walk along the path through the forest by herself. She really enjoys it now, not long sections but still.

As I wasn’t in any kind of hurry I let her explore the surroundings. She skipped along and once every now and then she stopped to pick up a stone. She didn’t keep them, just picked them up, looked at them and carried them until she found a new one.

After a while doing this it hit me. She was enjoying little things. Literarily. She was enjoying picking up small stones from the side of the path. Most of them spread out during winter to keep it safe to walk. Stones that had ended up outside the path for no good. (The stones on the path had been brushed up earlier this week). But they still had reason. To make my girl happy exploring.

The joy of a kid


As these thoughts came to me I decided to get down to her level. Just to see some other little things. And sure enough, the stones are pretty; they have all kinds of colours and shapes. Some are mashed into the dirt so that one has to dig them out to get them; others are stuck in the asphalt.

And there are more little things going on this time of year:

  • Leaves starting to show. (You have to look really close on some).
  • Birds singing.
  • Birds playing.
  • Children having fun.
  • Old people walking enjoying the sun.

All these are little things. But they are important. And if I hadn’t taken the time to take the walk home in my daughters pace, I doubt I would have thought about any of them. But they made this day so much richer.