Life as a mom who has her hands full
Every day without fail, my grandparents leave my aunt’s house and travel the 2 miles to the CASINO. They play the nickel and penny slots so they don’t lose all of their money in one fail swoop and then they travel back to the house and take a nap. Whenever they are faced with the possibility of missing a day, they inevitably get uneasy. Why is the casino so much fun? Why do they feel the need to go every day? One look around the casino floor on weekdays tells you that they are not alone. Quaffed gray and white hair fills the aisles and everywhere you turn, someone’s grandmother is playing the slot machines. BUT WHY? They say it is an outing, a harmless jaunt out of the house. They claim it keeps them active and busy and gives them something to do every day. But fewer seniors are gracing senior centers, volunteer jobs, and YMCA water classes in exchange for BIG MONEY promises of the casino clubs. Maybe they are lured in, by the promise of free lunch. Every month, the casino also never fails to send my grandparents “free” $10 to play. YOU KNOW that that generation is not passing up or wasting FREE MONEY…so they go and get hooked. Now, the casino is a part of their daily routine, taking the place of family outings and yard work. The parent in me wants to scream…”Stop wasting your time, your money and your life in the casino!…It’s a beautiful day…get outside and enjoy it!…Why don’t you volunteer or join a senior group instead??” The granddaughter in me just wants them to be happy. I try to understand and smile politely. The bright lights and busy atmosphere of the casino obviously fills a void created by growing older. Maybe, for a moment, they feel young again…fueled by the adrenaline being pumped into their bodies. Or maybe they just want one more chance at glory..one more chance to win…. no matter what the cost.