about Senior Citizens . . you know one or you’ll be one (for sure)


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I know it may seem strange if I suddenly become serious, but remember . . I said at the beginning that I would occasionally speak to subjects that involve the elderly or the ones who care about the elderly.  Some years ago, probably when I turned seventy, I thought that I was growing old and I started thinking and writing about that.  What a joke.  I wasn’t old yet by any measure.  Still, my thoughts have value, as I read them today, and I would like to share them with you and your families in a three-part piece.which I never offered to an editor because, after all, who wants to talk about something we all have in common and we’re learning to accept. . . gracefully.

 

                                                                              SOUL SURVIVOR

Do you ever wonder what old people think about aging . . and death?  Have you ever asked?  In this trilogy a great grandmother, the last leaf on her family tree,  gives a glimpse into her mind and her heart on the subject of aging and death.

 Senior Citizens

We aren’t called seniors for nothing.  We’re seniors because we were first kindergarteners and later freshmen, sophomore, and juniors in life.  We’ve been through it all and we’ll be the first to tell you so.

Being a senior means we are preparing for graduation.  It’s a simple enough affair, except that now we don’t all graduate at the same time.  Perhaps we are all taking honors courses and are on our own schedules.  Still, we go to some classes together and  interact in all sorts of ways to help each other to the common goal, which is to bring an end to our formal required learning and to receive a diploma that says we know enough for now to be on our way.

That is when people celebrate with us . . because we “passed.”

When I graduated the first time, and I mean when I graduated from high school, it was one of the highlights of my life.  What a glorious day!  We had gathered huge sprays of lilacs and white spirea to fill wicker baskets all over the gymnasium.  (The baskets came from the funeral home, of course, and so did the paper fans and folding chairs.)  It smelled absolutely heavenly in that gym, and the mixed chorus sounded divine.

Before the ceremony we milled nervously about the Home Economics Room, saying our goodbyes to classmates, exchanging autographs or mementoes, blowing our noses, and philosophizing briefly about the vast future ahead of us, how things would never be the same and how we would always miss and remember each other.

We were wrong on all counts.  For the most part the future never loomed vast.  It unfolded one moment, one event at a time.  Things went on about the same, except now we were making more of our own choices so of course we made more mistakes.  And although I loved them all dearly I rarely thought again of Bertha Wininger, Toady Hurd or Willard Branch.  Nor they of me.  We were soon busy enough with our own agendas.

During the ceremony our parents shed a few tears.  They were about to lose us, they thought, and things would never be the same.  They were right that things would never be the same but wrong about losing us.  You can’t lose kids.  Only the very spiritually mature can lose kids.  To the rest of us, consider that kids are the other half of a Velcro unit.  They glom on from time to time, and until we all outgrow our need for each other the parents are glad to have them glom (but only for brief visits.).

So that graduation was a joyous occasion, and a very sad occasion.  Later we forgot the sad part, the goodbyes,  when we discovered the joyous part of saying new hellos.

– Doris Markland

 

 

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kristine Baker
    Feb 15, 2014 @ 10:33:52

    I love how you put a story together Doris 🙂

    Reply

  2. Betty
    Feb 15, 2014 @ 12:51:45

    So true!

    Reply

  3. Donna Milner Thomas
    Feb 15, 2014 @ 18:33:04

    Such a tender, insightful recollection …

    Wishing you well,

    Donna

    >

    Reply

  4. Barbara Kladstrup
    Feb 15, 2014 @ 20:50:40

    B

    Reply

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