When are we too old to be spoiled?

Question: When are we too old to be spoiled? Childhood? Adulthood? Senior status? Years ago I gave my sister a card. The outside read: You spoil me. The inside: I like that in you.

After 53 years of living in their custom-built home, my uncle and aunt moved to a one-bedroom senior apartment. The permanency of this move all-too-quickly ended.This past week was filled with once again sorting, discarding, giving away and packing those choice items selected just 15 months earlier. Another move. This time out-of-state, closer to their daughter’s home.

Midweek the POD arrived and furniture was loaded, leaving only personal items to be placed in every nook and cranny of the moving container. Five days to finish this task. Five days filled with the stress of bidding long-time friends and relatives “Good-bye.” Five days to take in, for the last time, the familiar and cherished sights and sounds of their birthplace. Five nights to spend in their apartment with no bed!

This niece was privileged to provide them five nights of escape from their anxiety and grief. A place where the clutter and barrenness of the apartment were replaced with order and beauty. A place where decision-making dizziness – “What do you want to do with this?” “Where does this go?” “Is this a keeper?” – was substituted with the serenity of their hotel room.

More than once my uncle raved about their stay at the Hampton Inn. The pleasant people and surroundings, the quietness of their room, the bed that had to be larger than a king size, the breakfast filled with many choices and the endless supply of coffee. He ended his accolades with, “We’re spoiled!”

As a child of divorced parents, I missed out on growing up with my father’s relatives.I met this uncle and aunt only a year and a half ago. Not much time to share the experiences of our past lives.

Today I drove them to the airport and watched as they followed their daughter through the terminal doors. I thought about my question: When are we too old to be spoiled? My 90-year old uncle and 88-year old aunt would answer, “Never!”

To the staff of Hampton Inn, Madison Heights, Michigan, I offer my sincere gratitude. Your accommodations offered rest for weary, overworked bodies but also respite for frazzled emotions. Because of this and God’s promise of renewed strength and daily mercies, they were able to face each exhausting day of packing.

Thank you for being in the “spoiling” business.

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