I have become hyper-vigilant, now that I'm a Designated Daughter. I am stealth-like in parking lots, scanning
the scene for elderly people who might like an assist.
Shopping carts stuck together? Here I am, Designated Daughter to the World! I'll pull those apart in no time flat!
What's that, Sir? Dropped your coupons? Let me! Let me, I soothe, as I bend to pick them up.
One day, I was in the nail salon, when the woman in the next chair seemed to get a little groggy. And foggy.
And confused and her color looked bad. She was waiting for her son to pick her up, but the more she insisted she
was fine, the more nervous I got with my Universal Responsibility. I asked for her phone, and got her son on the
line. I'm not sure if I said "Hurry up," "Pronto" or "And I mean it, Buster Brown!" You could see the relief on her
face when she saw the headlights of his car pull in to take her safely home in the darkening dusk.
Sometimes I feel I should mind my own business, not in an emergency, of course, but in the day–to–day doings of
other people and their families. Perhaps I should not conjure each situation I see as eminent disaster abated only
by me, a neurotic, middle-aged, female Holden Caulfield; the Catcher In The Rye for seniors.
I'm wondering if you feel that way, too. If maybe you extend the Golden Rule a few more inches for the elderly,
noticing a need from a crouched position, ready to spring into action, whether warranted or not. Once we honor our
own fathers and mothers, we Designated Daughters can't help but expand our duties to include every senior as our
D.G. Fulford is the author of Designated Daughter: The Bonus Years with Mom, written with her mother Phyllis Greene. She is also
the co-founder of TheRememberingSite.org. You can find her at DGFulford.com.
Photo credit: Marcia Smilack