‘I hope you receive more empathy, respect and kindness than you showed my friend’

My friend recently fell off her bicycle while out for a morning ride, helmeted and watchful of traffic.

She hit the curb just enough to set her off balance and down she went. Unfortunately, she injured her shoulder in the fall, needed assistance from paramedics who took her off to the E.R. where she spent the better part of the day. She’s been told she will likely require surgery and is awaiting an orthopedic consult.

While she was laying on the ground in substantial pain and unable to stand up prior to the ambulance arriving, several people stopped or came out of their houses to render assistance.

One of these people, a younger gentleman approaching middle age, decided it was a good opportunity, while my friend was down, to berate “old people on bikes”, “should have to be licensed”, who do they think they are?”, etc. He continued in this vein until my friend, already distressed and in pain, implored him to stop. I should mention here that my friend is a retired teacher in her 60s, extremely fit and a contributing member of society who volunteers in aid of her community.

To the gentleman who felt the need to express his “old people” bias, I would say this – in the blink of an eye, in a heartbeat, you will find yourself fast approaching that “old people” label. Accidents can happen to anyone, young or old. Should you at some point find yourself in a similar situation, I hope you receive more empathy, respect and kindness than you showed my friend.

Recent events in the world and Canada, in particular, have highlighted the fact that there are many who would like to continue warehousing seniors. Out of sight, out of mind, I suppose. Those of us who hope things will change or, at least, improve before we, too, might suffer the fate of invisibility will continue to ride our bikes, walk, run, move and be in the world as long as we can.

Ardith MacNeil

Campbell River