Sunday, January 20, 2008

I look to the future because that is where i'm going to spend the rest of my life!!!!

Ok, so first i want to post this website and i urge everybody to go to it at least once today!!!! It's It is quite the eye opener! Let me regress and start with a quote by an older person who has a wonderful blog ! It goes something like this:

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver. As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore. I’ve even earned the right to be wrong. So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)."

That hits home a bit. So, today i viewed a film called Andrew Jenks Room 335 and i have to say it was one of the most uplifting and wonderful films i have ever had the pleasure of watching. I laughed, i cried, i giggled, i prayed and most of all i watched transfixed to the TV. I couldn't take my eyes off of the wonderful people at Harbor Place in Floridia. Andrew, at 19 years old taught these people so much as well as they taught him. It was just so uplifting so see this. Andrew is a wonderful young man, i cannot speak any more highly or him than i am now!!! Let me give you a synopsis of this film written by Andrew himself:

Just like the other residents at the assisted living facility Harbor Place, I played bingo, hung out in the courtyards contemplating “the golden years”, and even helped fellow neighbors change their oxygen tanks. However, unlike Tammy (age 95) or even Bill (age 80), I am only nineteen years old.
My name is Andrew Jenks and this past summer I moved into a senior residence in Florida. I moved into room 335. For one summer I did all of the things that old people do. I wanted to find the answer to the question: how do they feel now that they face the end of their lives?
I laughed at their jokes about sex, played baseball with canes instead of bats, and raced through the hallways in my friend’s wheelchair. By the fourth week, three of my closest friends were hospitalized and my best chum, Bill, stopped talking to me. I coaxed my neighbor through a heart attack, saw the heartbreak of dementia, and witnessed the death of a friend.
By the end of the summer, I had formed unimaginable bonds with some of the greatest, and oldest, people that life has to offer. I came to realize that it is in such friendships and the spirit in which you live that meaning is to be found. My two good college buddies followed this journey and recorded over 200 hours of footage, creating “Andrew Jenks, Room 335”.

Here are some of my remarks on the film:

Andrew Jenks Room 335 begins as an interesting summer project and evolves into a profound film on aging. Nineteen year old NYU film student Andrew Jenks decides to spend 36 days living in a Florida assisted living facility, bringing fellow filmmaker friends Jonah Quickmire Pettigrew and William Godel along to digitally record a video diary of his stay. Jenks' therapist says at the beginning of the film that this isn't such a hot idea, but Jenks insists that he feels he can learn about Life from the elderly and that they share the same "outcast" situation.Jenks has an engaging, caring, sincere personality and connects rapidly with a number of the patients, and its their openness that makes Jenks' project such a noteworthy film. By the end of the film's 90 minutes, you'll feel like you know these people intimately and consider them friends.Most engaging is 96-year old Tammy, an energetic woman who's outlived her family and original friends but has such a great sense of humor (often R-rated) and caring nature that she's continually making friends at the Harbor Place facility. Even when she faces a health challenge and is admitted to a hospital, Tammy continues to be far more concerned for her friends than for herself. After observing Bill constantly doing favors for various residents and taking daily walks to the store to buy candy for them, Jenks sets out to get to know him. They become buddies. A former Marine who wears only Hawaiian shirts, Bill exchanges "hurrahs" and playful roughhousing punches with Jenks. The 80 year old also talks more on camera than he had ever uttered previously at the facility. Quite the prankster, Bill is shown "stealing" another patients walking cane and turning it into a baseball bat; his teasing behaviors signals how intensely he likes a person. Never verbally eloquent, Bill's body language reveals his feelings, and Jenks correctly interprets Bill's sudden silent treatment near the end of the filming that Bill is upset that his new young friend is about to leave.Other significant characters include legally blind and hard of hearing Libby, who has a bit of a temper that balances her caring, sweet side, and her fellow Jeopardy devotee Dotty, whose heath radically deteriorates. Dotty has the film's most heart wrenching scene and profoundly affects Jenks, and me in turn. In certain scenes Jenks infers that some of the patients at Harbor Place have dementia! We see very little of that aspect with the exception of when a blackout occurs during a stormand the staff are curiously absent while a confused patient helplessly wanders the hallway and another struggles to breath without oxygen. Andrew Jenks reveals as much about himself as his new friends at the Harbor Place facility, so viewers will eagerly look forward to his next project. When a good hearted director makes a film that is as entertaining and moving as this one, he bonds with the audience.

So, yeah being that i am surrounded by eldery people where i live, and just lost a precious family member to old age it was manditory watching!!! For all of you too!!!
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