In gathering signatures for the SB5 Petition, I have oftentimes been in the homes of older people, who want MOSTLY to talk. Tonight I was in the home of an 86-year-old widow who called me because she had seen my name in the newspaper. I arrived at 5:30 PM and did not leave until 7:00 PM. She lost her husband of 62 years and her only living relative is a sister who lives in Hillsboro. We talked of many things and she was such an enjoyable person that I hated to leave. As I tried to leave, she kept talking, showing me pictures and delaying my exit.
Driving home I thought of the great John Prine song, "Say Hello In There". The song is about an older couple whose children live away and all the friends and co-workers have either died or moved and the couple doesn't talk much anymore. The refrain is:
"Old people just grow lonesome,
Hoping for someone to say "Hello in there."
The last lines of the song are especially touching:
So, if you're out walking down the street sometime
And you spot some hollow, ancient eyes,
Please don't pass them by and stare,
As if you didn't care,
Say "hello in there; Hello!"
If we live long enough, we are all going to be there where we need someone to say "Hello in there!"