ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Elderly Man

Updated on November 9, 2012

Alone But Happy

Tick-tock, tick-tock, The antique clock on the mantelpiece.

The old man decides to switch off the television and sit for a while with only the sound of the tick-tock from the mantelpiece.

No sound of traffic passing by. His cottage is isolated and old like him. Yet that was his choice. When his dear wife died, he could have moved closer to town. Have neighbours, nearby, maybe with children and dogs and lorries and cars going by. Loud music may have been coming from anothers´home. All the normal noises of modern day life.

No. The noises of modern day life would not suit him now..., Not for him, . He preferred the peace and warmth of his little old home. Too many years of happiness were in the walls surrounding him. He could not leave. He would manage.


Tick-tock, tick-tock, What a wonderful rhythmic, peaceful sound, thought the old man.

His mind drifted back to the years with his wife, when they were young, Then, gradually as they grew older, right up to when they became elderly.. Their love had been strong.

Maybe if they´d had children? No, ´´maybe´´ is pointless. It is what it is. He loved his wife and she had loved him. They´d been happy. Tick-tock tick-tock................

The old man leaned back in his favourite chair, resting his head against one special cushion. His wife had made it and embroidered every stitch with love,. The words ´´Together Forever.´´.

He closed his eyes and could see her sweet face, realising he could so easily drift into sleep, but this is a man whose life had been filled with self discipline and order. No, he would not fall asleep, it´s after midnight, he ´d get to his bed for the night. Tick-tock tick-tock............

He leans on his walking stick to help him rise up from his favourite chair. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

One small, wrong-footing is all that it takes, he slips to the floor, knocking his head against the marble hearth, beneath the beautiful mantelpiece, where the antique clock had lived for so long and kept going on....Tick-tock, tick-tock..

He lays there and drifts to a world full of dreams. He see his wife coming towards him.

Her arms are outstretched, open so wide to greet him.

Meanwhile a small trickle of blood slides down the corner of his mouth. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

How long before anyone finds him? Tick tock, tick tock...........................

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    6 years ago from Great Britain

    Hi b,. Malin...

    Thank you for the visit and comment

  • b. Malin profile image

    b. Malin 

    6 years ago

    Our lives are like Clocks, ticking away...Very Interesting Hub story Dim. A little Sad, as well as a very Poignant read.

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    6 years ago from Great Britain

    Thank you mckbrdsks

    Hope you have recovered from slipping . These canes don´t always behave themselves, I know.

    Love your comment. Cheers!

  • mckbirdbks profile image

    mckbirdbks 

    6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

    Hello Dim, I would have been here sooner, but between the cane and the mantle I just slipped up. The clock as metaphor is so fitting in this tale of time slipping by and the love waiting is such a nice thought. Well done as always.

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    6 years ago from Great Britain

    Dearest Vincent. Thank you so much for this comment.

    Why am I so insecure that 1 comment out of ten can make me doubt myself????

    But you put me back together again, and I do love you for that.

    Stay well, please. Hugs

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    6 years ago from Great Britain

    Beautiful comment Angela .

    Thank you so much.

  • Angela Blair profile image

    Angela Blair 

    6 years ago from Central Texas

    Dim - excellent story and writing -- enjoyed it immensely. I'm sure every reader has a different take on each and every one of our articles -- that's the beauty of writing. Great Hub. Best/Sis

  • profile image

    Vincent Moore 

    6 years ago

    Dim, I can't see how anyone can be be confused by this piece. It's simple to understand. Take the movie Notebook for instance, where did his heart and soul want to be? With her of course, they were both blessed to lay down and go to sleep together and wake up on the other side.

    So many lonely elderly people who live alone, also die alone. I do prefer never to end up in a hospital or hospice, if I fell and crashed my head on my hearth I would be delighted. Melancholy, depression, silence, alone are constant companions of the elderly. I know I to am hearing the Tic Toc of my own clock and the ringing in my head is constant.

    I scribe in haste before my words are taken from me for good. Peace and blessings to you my Dim. I appreciate you and your talent as a writer and kindred spirit. Hugs.

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    6 years ago from Great Britain

    Dear Mega1,

    Thank you for reading and commenting.

    Sorry if the little story didn´t make sense to you.

    I let people interperate what I write any way they choose.

    From my own point of view I have seen much unhappiness and speedy death when elderly people have to leave familiar surroundings. In this case, the old man felt safer in his own home that his wife had shared so many years with him, death was his way of seeing her again. The fact that death is always unpleasant doesn´t change the fact we all die sometime. He would have preffered to go quickly in his own home than be surrounded by strangers.

    You don´t have to agree with me. Like I said. I like readers to see my work any way they choose.

    I thank you for taking the time to leave such an interesting comment., and am pleased to meet you here on hubpages.

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    6 years ago from Great Britain

    hi there suzettenaples.,

    Glad you liked the atmosphere of the story.

    I think that was all I had in my had at first. Peace and quiet, just the sound of the clock.

    Thank you so much for your comment.

  • mega1 profile image

    mega1 

    6 years ago

    Sorry, I don't get your message here. The elderly man, do you think he should have been living in a retirement community in town? do you think he should have had a helper live in there in the country with him? do you think it was inevitable that he died alone and that his death was a tragedy? I really think this tear-jerker hub could have had a point of view - but then, again, it is so zen the way you put it! if, however, you take the emotional stuff out and see that possibly you were selling some kind of home alert device for older people - then it is a big success, this hub. Because of your name, Dim Flaxenwick, I at first thought you were just trying to be kind of funny, but I see now you probably weren't.

  • suzettenaples profile image

    Suzette Walker 

    6 years ago from Taos, NM

    Very good story and so poignant. I actually had an aunt who died from a fall in her home - hit her head against the buffet and that was the end of her. I like the image and sound of the clock as this man's life winds down. Very effective!

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    6 years ago from Great Britain

    Hi PegCole17

    Thanks for commentimg-. It´s not always easy to know what is best when someone prefers their independence is it?

    I´m glad my mum has a Life Alert necklace. , now.

    My sister inlaw has something similar.

    Great to see you . Hope you are well. Take care.

  • PegCole17 profile image

    Peg Cole 

    6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

    Sad story, beautifully told, Dim. Getting old has its share of risks but being on one's own often is better than the alternatives. My Mom passed out at her house across the street and it was the next morning before I knew anything about it. Now she has one of those push button Life Alert necklaces. But it only works if she pushes it.

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    6 years ago from Great Britain

    Hello remaniki,

    I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. Thank you. It gives me great pleasure that you felt it to be realistic.

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    6 years ago from Great Britain

    Hi Daistflowers,

    That is a compliment indeed.

    Thank you very much.

  • remaniki profile image

    Rema T V 

    6 years ago from Chennai, India

    Hi Dim,

    Great hub. Felt as though I knew both of them. So realistic. Thanks for the wonderful story. Socially shared.

    Take care

    Cheers

    Rema

  • daisyflowrs profile image

    daisyflowrs 

    6 years ago from Richmond, VA

    Great hub! I felt I was there.

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    6 years ago from Great Britain

    Thank you Micky, for stepping onto hub territory. Love you man. I´ve been enjoying your photos of ´´veterans for peace´. bycicle ride, Fantastic.

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    6 years ago from Great Britain

    Thank you Feline Prophet. I love the word evocative......

    Take care

    Dim

  • profile image

    MDee 

    6 years ago

    Very nice Dim.

  • profile image

    Feline Prophet 

    6 years ago

    Very evocative...I can actually hear the tick tock, tick tock...

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    6 years ago from Great Britain

    Dear Cadsil,

    I´ m delighted that you could relate to my story .

    Always a great pleasure to see you on my page too.

    Thank you.

  • Cagsil profile image

    Cagsil 

    6 years ago from USA or America

    Hey Dim, you almost describe what my grandfather felt and thought after my grandmother was put into a hospice(hospital for elderly) when she suffered from dementia. She got it from a surgery she had for colon cancer. I have no clue what was going through her mind, but I know he missed her and had no way to get to her. He was powerless. I know it bothered him. Well, shortly later he passed and she did 11 months later.

    Well, that's what your hub brought back for me. I can relate. :) Voted up and interesting. :)

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    6 years ago from Great Britain

    Hello pstraubie48, pleased to meet you on hubpages

    Thank you very much for the comment

  • pstraubie48 profile image

    Patricia Scott 

    6 years ago from sunny Florida

    oh, my daddy was old and frail but he had his Momma with him till the end. the proverbial clock tick tocks for each of us...so sad his life ended as it did...but perhaps all of his tick tocks were used up...great job. voted up

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    6 years ago from Great Britain

    Thank yu, duffsmom

  • duffsmom profile image

    P. Thorpe Christiansen 

    6 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

    Nicely done.

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    6 years ago from Great Britain

    Thank you Deborah,. Hope you are well

  • Deborah Brooks profile image

    Deborah Brooks Langford 

    6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

    awesome read... wow the ending.. it is amazing.. He loved her so much.. oh it is wonderful

    voted up

    Debbie

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)