Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Wizened Ones...

I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with a 95-year old friend today.

Bless her good heart.  She can't see very well at anymore.  She can't hear very well anymore.  Her short-term memory isn't very good anymore.

But boy, her long-term memory couldn't be beat!

I am very comfortable around older people.  Perhaps it's because I was born into an older family.  My sisters were ages 16, 19 and 21 when I came along, and my parents were well into their forties. grandparents, all of whom were born in the 1880's, were quite old. 

I could have sat and listened to them for hours.  Actually, I did sit and listen to them for hours, and they listened to me.  Though we were close to three generations apart from one another, their lives fascinated me. 

And, they still do.

This dear friend today had seen quite a lot in her 95 years.  She was born the year before the flu pandemic of 1918, so the fact that she's even here is a miracle in itself.  She was an expert quilter, and her quilts won awards at the Ohio State Fair. 

Now, she's blind.  But trust me, she can still see. 

My grandmother, Bertha, and my mother, Ida.  I spent hours listening to both of them tell the tales of growing up in the early part of the 1900's.  I learned how to honor my own mother by watching her honor hers.
My grandfather, Corb.  His own father died when he was quite young.  He and his brothers were raised by their grandfather.
My dad's parents, Richard and Fannie. 

I really am grateful for the time I am able to spend around older people.  They help me to appreciate my own life.  They inspire me to do better and to be better.

And, sometimes they even drop a little gem about the family's history!!


  1. I'm glad your friend still has her long term memory - my Gran was the same, her "fog descended" as she said, about recent events but she could recall things from her teens and twenties. She gave me lots of treasured stories from then that I had never heard before. Take a pen and notepad, or better still record the memories - I wish I had :-) Jo

  2. Your friend is very lucky to have you, to care and to listen. Not a lot of people would do that. I hope she remains healthy for a while longer. Pat yourself on the back for each visit you make.