A Letter to the Over 65’s

By Fin Sheridan

Dear Over 65’s Reader,

This is the first letter I’ve ever written. Normally if I want to say something, I’ll use Facebook or Whatsapp. Very very rarely, I’ll ring someone. Anyway, I wanted to write you something because I think it’d be good for us to communicate a bit more.

You see, the media often overplays the differences between us: the gap in the generations, the separation of the “in my days” and the “youth of today”. The reality is though, you were my age once and one day I’ll be your age and so we’ve got something in common already.

I’ve been thinking and there’s a couple of things that I need to apologise for. I’m sorry I didn’t give up my seat on the bus the other day: I just honestly didn’t notice that you were there. My mum had asked if I could pick up some milk on the way home and I was texting her back to say “yes”. If I’d have seen you, I would’ve. And I’m sorry that I mumble sometimes when you talk to me. If I’m being honest, I just don’t know what to say sometimes, that’s all.

“Let’s make a deal where we try our best to make life easier for one another.”

Here’s what I do want to say though. Please don’t be afraid of me and my friends. I notice sometimes, you look nervous when we’re walking down the street towards you. I hate the thought that you think we’d cause you any harm; quite the opposite. In fact, if something happened, I like to think that we’d step in front of you to protect you. That’s what Granddad taught me.

And actually, although we don’t always show it, we are grateful for you. We’re grateful for your advice. We’re grateful for your stories, even if it is the tenth time you’ve told them. We’re glad that you’re with us on Christmas Day and we’re glad that you know a lot of things that we don’t. We’re glad that you’re in our family.  It gives us a sense of place, a feeling that we belong to someone and something.

So, if you’re still reading, I think we should make a deal. A deal to smile at one another when we see each other in the street. A deal where I hold the door open for you and you don’t tut disapprovingly at my friends when they’re a bit loud in town. A deal where we don’t let the years divide us and a deal where we try our best to make life easier for one another. A deal where I respect you and you respect me and we celebrate our similarities AND our differences.

Yours sincerely (Or is it faithfully? I don’t know, I’ve never written a letter before),

Your Younger Friend.

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