I’ve been thinking about this topic recently. What does it mean to age? What are the implications of aging. What are the gifts of aging?
I know there are common answers to these questions. What I am considering is how to frame aging in the context of gratitude. With the perspective of time and experience.
Now there are others who have considered this perspective. And, now it is my turn.
When I was a little girl, I could not have known what I know now. The perspective gained is vast.
In a few weeks I will attain completion of 58 years plus 40 weeks on the planet. That is a bit of an accomplishment. You see, not everyone gets that opportunity.
My mother died in September of 2020. She was 85 years old. I am now the senior member of my lineage alive. Wow! This is a new place for me.
When my grandchildren were younger-my eldest grandson is 11-I remember thinking how I know seven generations now. Think about that! I knew my maternal grandfather’s mother. She died when I was six years old. She had nine children the youngest of whom was my grandfather. She dipped snuff. She lived in a small house in Coosa County, Alabama, USA. She was bristly.
Here I am today. Six grandchildren, three children, and two children-in-law. How phenomenal is that!
I’ve been able to be a stay-at-home mother, a homeschool mom, a military spouse, a community volunteer, a Counselor, an educator, a poet, a singer, and more. I’ve started groups such as 4-H, a women’s Bible study, a group for mental health professionals, a women’s ministry, written a book of poetry, educated a nurse and two doctors throughout their childhood, and collected wonderful friends around the world.
It is a privilege to age.
I get to experience change across time. The internet. Tonight for the first time I was watching The Carpenters perform on video recording. These are songs I grew up listening to but not seeing the performance. It is amazing!
And, the culture I grew up in does not seem to value the wisdom and experience gleaned from being alive for a while. Not really. We are not good about asking questions of our elders. We are not good about seeking to hear their accumulated experience.
I wish I had asked more questions. Though I did speak with my mother throughout my life about her memories of her elders, especially her maternal grandmother whom she loved dearly.
Life is about death. It is about birth. And, everything in between.
This is a large topic. Thank you for being here for me to share with. It is an honor to share with you.
PS: the photograph is of my son and his daughter on the beach. I love it as they are together. I have permission to use this photo.
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