The Years, The Years

A black and white image of two elderly people dancing.When the aides on the night shift drift off to sleep, residents jump out of bed. Tiptoe down hallways to the recreation room. First one in hits the lights. Once long-limbed beauties, now crepe-paper skinned, they shimmy, they shake, they shimmer. Greta from 3B grabs Charles from 3K. The two mambo, Tito Puente in their heads. Edmond barely misses poor Edna’s toes. Shirley slides into a split. Oh! The days Deb danced like Ginger. When Tim crooned just like Frank. The days, the days, the years, the years. They dance. Then sleep like babies. Some of them never wake up.

Diane Gottlieb writes nonfiction and fiction—all of it true. You can find her at and on Twitter @DianeGotAuth.

Photo Credit: Ulrich Joho

6 Responses to “The Years, The Years”

  1. Zahraa says:

    I felt the movement it was described like I was with them

  2. Yvonne Morris says:

    I felt the joy of movement in this small story–life, glorious life.

  3. Tim Chambers says:

    Present tense, so contemporary? My father is 83. I explored long-term care options, including 24×7 facilities. Things changed quickly, and I stopped exploring before I set foot in a place where I might see for myself the scene you set. He is convalescing at home. For now. I wonder if he will have that scene at home instead of in a residence. I desire to know how much eyewitness confidence you have, and would you say more about what it is like, knowing that some of them never wake up? I know with my head but not my heart. You?

  4. Oh wow, beautiful, Diane! My mom is about to go into a facility now, and this made me smile. I hope she will have some good times there, in the years to come.

  5. Dee Lorraine says:

    Lovely imagery. Well done, Diane.

  6. Warm-heated and whimsical — it left vivid images in this reader’s mind. Very enjoyable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *