Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Inspiration in the 90's

No, I am not talking about the temperature - it has been in the 90's today. I am talking about the inspiration I have received from being with some very special women who are in their 90's.

There is a conversation that many of us have when we become people of a "certain age." And it is conversation about aging and what is changing with us - our sagging skin, our fading memories, our hearing. Just getting up off the ground is now more problematic than it was 10 years ago.

And then there is the conversations about the future - when we see people who have lived "too long" - because of dementia and just a general sense of unhappiness.

Well, for the last two days I have been wtih two different women in my church who are 95 years old - which makes them 30 plus years older than me. And they are living a life of joy and gratitude. And it gives me hope and maybe will shut me up when I start complaining.

One woman, Dorothy, lives with her daughter. Last month they took a trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon and she was delighted to share her pictures with me. Her conversation is all about her family and how happy she is with everyone. Now, this is not a woman who has not had suffering and sorrow - one daughter died of cancer and her son is mentally handicapped. But she has continued to live and grow and embrace the life that is hers. She is still "working" - doing typing on the computer and very diligent about keeping up with that family via email. She also loves to make greeting cards and calendars on the computer. What a blessing she is.

And the other woman, Anna Margaret, lives in a nursing home. I sat with her as she was finishing having her hair done there as she does every week. She greeted by name and with great affection every person - resident and staff who came by. She spoke to me about her "mission" which is to love people. She is a former teacher whose whole life has been about people and now in this time and place she continues.
She is so grateful that she is no longer on oxygen and today she was even able to go to Utica on bus trip and to get ice cream. Like Dorothy, she too has had struggles in her life - but continues to focus on the present and the blessings of her life now.

Dorothy told me that she is the oldest member of her family but she still has a brother who is living in Florida - but he continues to live in the past - reliving the war and other events. She and Anna Margaret live in the present- active, engaged, appreciative.


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