Category Archives: Honoring Our Elders

Senior Car Jacking

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If you’re going to have a Senior Moment, make it a memorable one!

From: http://www.thehumorarchives.com/joke/Senior_Car_Jacking

An elderly Florida lady did her shopping and, upon returning to her car, found four males in the act of leaving with her vehicle. She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at the top of her voice, “I have a gun, and I know how to use it! Get out of the car!”

The four men didn’t wait for a second invitation. They got out and ran like mad.The lady, somewhat shaken, then proceeded to load her shopping bags into the back of the car and got into the driver’s seat. She was so shaken that she could not get her key into the ignition. She tried and tried, and then it dawned on her why… For the same reason she did not understand why there was a football, a Frisbee and two 12 packs of beer in the front seat!

A few minutes later, she found her own car parked four or five spaces farther down. She loaded her bags into the car and drove to the police station to report her mistake.

The sergeant to whom she told the story couldn’t stop laughing. He pointed to the other end of the counter, where four pale men were reporting a car jacking by a mad, elderly woman described as white, less than five feet tall, glasses, curly white hair, and carrying a large handgun.

No charges were filed.

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Glory, Peace and Goodwill Towards All

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Kamalla Rose Kaur

In memory of Clarice Wills, dancer, teacher, public speaker, peace activist, chef and art collector – fearless feisty performer.

As I entered the lobby of an elegant retirement center a couple days before Christmas a group of lively elder residents started caroling around the gigantic Christmas tree. I headed right to the elevator and traveled to the third and top floor.  I was there to escort an elder friend, age 91, to a party.  My husband waited outside in the car.

But that didn’t stop me from taking a moment after leaving the elevator, to trot over to the balcony rail and gaze down from three tall stories onto the huge and fabulous artificial Christmas tree and the festive elders below.

Enchanting, the world suddenly lit up with an infinitude of little white sparkling lights with gold dust mixed in, accented by reds and greens.

Such a beautiful sight.  And then the caroling  stopped and there was a lovely hush.  No one looked up.

And I almost changed that.  I almost made a spectacle of myself.  I almost decided that I am a soprano – and when the need arises, I am, I am!  I almost proclaimed,  dramatically,  from on-high, the story of Christmas:

“There were shepherds abiding in the field,

keeping watch over their flocks by night.

And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them

and the Glory of the Lord shown round about them.

And they were sore afraid.

The angel said unto them, “Fear not!

For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.

For born unto you this day in the City of David,

a savior, which is Christ the Lord!”

But I stepped away without singing and hurried to collect my elder friend.

That section from Handel’s Messiah  isn’t a solo. To really pull it off you have to do the whole passage, including the part where the choir of angels arrive. You must have a fine orchestra.

A grand cathedral works well.  Or maybe the top floor of a local retirement home, for years called The Pink Palace (now locals call it The Cream Castle) looking down over their bedazzling Christmas tree to an audience of big hearted elderly  carolers –  all  Christian and/or intellectual and/or simply  musical enough, to deeply appreciate Handel during the holidays.

In my imagination, it sounded like this:

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Modern Sikh Hero Fauja Singh – Elder Marathon Runner

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Fauja Singh

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Harmander Singh – his trainer.

94 year old breaks 5 records within 94 minutes

As part of their contribution to the Back the Bid campaign, the Sikh Community hosted a record-breaking event at Mile End Park Stadium,

East London, on Saturday 2 July. Star performer was the indefatigable 94 year old Fauja Singh. His aim was to run 100m, 200m, 400m, the mile and 1500m, and a 3000m continuing on to finish the 5000m. Six races covering eight distances in a time limit of 94 minutes. Impossible? – nothing is impossible for the ex-farmer from the Punjab!

Together with his enthusiastic coach, Harmander Singh, who himself had just missed out on the qualifying time for 10000m at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, and a group of training partners, Fauja clocked 19.97 (hand timed) for the 100, missing the UK record by 7/100th of a second. In the 200m he obliterated the UK M90 age group 200m clocking an amazing 45.13sec. The 400m he covered in 1.49.28sec, to become the first in Briton ever to contest this distance. The UK 800m time he beat by 18.02 sec, running 4.20.97sec. The magic mile he ran in 9.40.13, timed at 9.03.37 for 1500m in the process. The last event, the 5000m, 12½ times round the track, seemed a daunting target.

Cheered on by the Mayor, local Press and supporters, he reeled off consistent laps, setting a new UK M90 3000m in 18.38.48 and continuing to complete 5000m in 31.31.12, just 5.67sec off the current UK record. With five records, or six, if you allow for the fact that all races plus recovery time were completed within the 94 minutes, Fauja still had enough puff to conduct media interviews!

A synopsis of Fauja Singh’s running record is as follows:

Fauja Singh already holds the 10,000m record (64 minutes – Lahore Marathon January 2005), 1/2 Marathon (2 hours 29 minutes and 59 seconds) and the Marathon record (5 hours 40 minutes and 1 second) both at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in September 2004 and September 2003 respectively.

Fauja also covered 7km in Lisbon in 54 minutes when with the SIE team in 2006 and amazingly did 8Km in 50 minutes in 2007.

Other landmarks

Fauja ran in the inaugural Sahibzade Marathon in Punjab at the invite of Capt Amarinder Singh who was the Chief Minister at the time in December 2004 followed by the inaugural Lahore Marathon in January 2005 at the invite of President Musharaf.

He has also ran in Kenya (Kericho) just days after being invited for Christmas dinner at Buckingham Palace at the invite of Her Majesty the Queen who also awarded him the runner-up award of Living Legend at Windsor Castle in 2006.

Fauja Singh was one of the Torch bearer’s for the Athens Olympics in 2004 and in 2005 the Official Starter of the second biggest marathon in the UK (Edinburgh Marathon).where together with Amrik Singh, Ajit Singh, Ajit Singh (2) and Karnail Singh they ran the relay race in 4 hours 16 minutes with a combined age of 387 – A year later with a revamped team (Sikhs In the City) the total age was 400 years and they were 3 minutes faster.

The sequence of Fauja Singh’s half and full marathon times is as below:

London Flora Marathon 2000 6 Hours 54 minutes

London Flora Marathon 2001 6 Hours 54 Minutes

London Flora Marathon 2002 6 Hours 45 Minutes

Bupa Great North Run (Half Marathon) 2002 2 Hours 39 minutes

London Flora Marathon 2003 6 Hours 2 minutes

Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2003 5 Hours 40 minutes

New York City Marathon 2003 7 Hours 35 minutes

London Flora Marathon 2004 6 Hours 7 minutes

Glasgow City Half Marathon 2004 2 Hours 33 minutes

Capital Radio Help a London Child 10,000m 2004 68 minutes

Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon 2004 2 Hours 29 minutes 59 seconds

Lahore Marathon (10,000m) 2005 64 minutes

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My Generation

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Dreaming Of A Holy Night

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Kamalla Rose Kaur

The residents of the assisted living complex had just started to eat their supper in the dining room when the carolers from a local church arrived. Twenty singers filed in. They hugged the wall, looking quite uncomfortable. They kept their eyes glued to their sheet music, with their voices raised in a loud cheery fa la la la la li-la-la-la! Then they filed out again and headed down the halls, dreaming of a white Christmas.

“That was fast!” one of the diners announced to no one in particular.

Conversation resumed. The caroler’s songs faded into background music as the visiting church members journeyed around the facility, oblivious to the fact that, with the exception of two hospice patients, all the residents were in the dining room eating.

The second group of carolers was smaller and arrived as dessert was being served. Their singing was far less confident, but their eye contact was better. Many of the residents put down their spoons, and settled back to listen. For a moment it was a beautiful sight, a happy sort of night with sleighbells ringing; a winter wonderland.

Then that second group of carolers also filed out of the dining room and began touring the empty hallways; fa la la la la li-la-la-la!

The residents slowly picked up their spoons again, and ate their fudge sundaes.

Before leaving, that second group of carolers returned to the dining room, and the spoons of the residents returned to the tables.

“Silent night, holy night.” they sang weakly but….

all became calm and all became bright. Residents relaxed further back into their chairs and wheelchairs. Many closed their eyes as they listened to the hymn, or they sang along.

“Merry Christmas everyone!” the minister of the second group exclaimed. “We are from the such and such church. Happy holidays!”

“Merry Christmas!” most of the residents responded sincerely.

Then the carolers left and the spoons got lifted again. For a long time the residents peacefully enjoyed their melting ice cream.

After dessert, a pleasant staff person announced that she had lit the fire in the center’s livingroom, and she was making popcorn, and the movie was going to be “White Christmas,” at 8pm.

The residents who were able began to stand up, grab hold of their walkers and head towards the diningroom doors. The residents who could wheel themselves in their wheelchairs followed, while the staff helped those who needed help.

Most of the residents went directly to bed, of course, but about 15 arrived in the livingroom for the movie at 8pm. They settled into, or were transferred into, comphy chairs, and bags of popcorn were handed out to them.

The third group of carolers arrived about 20 minutes into the movie. They were the biggest group; 40 choir singers from a big popular church.

“I’m dreaming of a white christmas!” they sang in perfect harmony, posing in the lobby.

“Me too!” an old man yelled at them from the livingroom causing his fellow movie watchers to erupt in laughter. Much encouraged, the choir just sang louder. Then they took off down the halls, in full voice; blissfully unaware that the elders were tired and that two people in the building were very close to death.

For a little while the movie watchers in the livingroom could hear the singing of Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye again, but soon the church choir was back in the lobby singing about being jolly and about holly.

“Oh FA LA LA li LAH, li La, La, LAAAA!” screeched an ancient woman from the far end of the livingroom. Her voice carried very well but her sarcasm was lost on the church choir.

At this point, a staff member took charge.She discreetly turned off the movie with the remote, and waited politely until the end of the song. Then she thanked the choir warmly for their visit.

The choir took a moment to compose themselves before singing their final piece.

“Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright…”

That church choir sang it like angels.

And then they were gone.

The residents in the livingroom sat together for a long spell that night, in deep and easy silence, before they finally struggled on their own, or were assisted, to their beds.

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