This is Mary Tony, a 98-year-old American who lives alone in a small house, trying desperately to pass the time. Even though the weather outside is perfect, she is stuck inside her house.
Each day there is a bus which stops in front of her house and Mary is taken to the local senior center by a friendly woman. For couple of hours, Mary forgets about her depressing life. Now, the visit is a bit different as there is a camera team on site. Mary is very excited and laughs sheepishly. The people in the center try to do everything so that she has a good time. An employee from the senior center says: “I hope, that if they go home and the next day they don’t come because they’re no longer here, that their last day was full of joy.” The camera team asked her why she considered the job important, she said that it was because these people are still living, and are no different than when they had been younger.
When Mary leaves home, she is very sad as she is lonely at her home. The camera team wanted to know what she does when she goes back home. This is what she said: “What should I do? Where could I go? I am alone. I can’t see. I can’t hear. I can’t live with my nieces, they have their own families. I can barely wait for the morning so that I can go again. I really like it there. But there is nobody there on Saturday and Sunday. I take advertising brochures and tear the pages into strips. The I cut the strips into small pieces and throw them into a bag and then into the trash,I have to do something, otherwise I’ll go crazy”.
The employees at the center question themselves how the old people live and what they do when they are alone. Mary’s loneliness is not an excuse to sink into self-pity, she says: “How many 98 year olds can still walk on their own to feet? I can. And I want to for as long as I still can.” After the team left she said that she loved them for coming as it made her day. She won’t forget them. The attention. Hugs and kisses for Mary worth more than anything else. She is aware now that she is not alone and that there are people who love and care for her. Her bittersweet story should be shared with everyone as no one should be forgotten just because they are old.
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