My brothers and I had zero interactions with relatives - there were none that our parents chose to know. They were all back in the United Kingdom in any case. The notion of grand parents, aunties and uncles was simply never discussed. It was just us and them, and they split up when I was 6 in any case. It meant that my upbringing conveniently avoided any interactions with anyone older than mum and dad.
Hitting teens and I was only focussed on building a light-show business, my world was all around young people. Old people were an alien life form.
Over the decades there's a slow drifting journey like a floating iceberg, that drifted me into interactions with older people which now has me, at 63 and technically 'old', working with 80 and 90 year olds in Community Transport. Which is where I start to see the past as the future.
I go into Balmain homes and see a freeze-frame of when they were in their 60's, or earlier. Hey, that's me! These elderly couples battle daily life, navigate endless medical appointments, and struggle with MyAgedCare and Home Plans. They fight! To remain at home. They are resolute! And they rely on us - the trusted age care industry. We earn and build out trust, at the community transport company I work with.
Some don't. I can see the gaps everywhere. And I'm so happy every trip we do, every step we navigate, we will take them home so they can put on the kettle and lock the world out.