Gentle souls

Today my Facebook news feed gifted me a joking reference to two elderly women and senility.

Maybe call it holiday humor.

But I call it cruel.

I admit I’m overly sensitive after a decade of care taking for my late parents and husband afflicted with Alzheimer’s and dementias.

But there’s nothing funny about a grandma asking her grandkids on Christmas Eve, “So who are you?”

Or discovering one morning your spouse can no longer speak full sentences.

But I may have been bothered most by the post’s unkind reference to aging women.

Feeling a bit old myself this morning, I couldn’t help but think don’t mature women deserve better?

What ever happened to respect and dignity, anyway?

I spent yesterday visiting two gentle souls in different locations, each nearly ninety years young.

Both of these women are bright, full of life and ever so wise.

And they’re also gorgeous.

The women reminded me of another elegant lady I knew who passed away earlier this year at 96. An accomplished author, she kept researching and writing well into her 90s, publishing her last book at 92.

All three women have taught me much. And yesterday the two I visited with shared some invaluable lessons.

First, just because you’re older, you’re still vibrant and very much alive. You can offer wisdom and perspective the young never can.

Second, should memory become impaired in one’s final years, gifts of love and warmth will still shine through.

I’m thinking these gifts will be more than enough to top off my stocking come Christmas morning.


5 thoughts on “Gentle souls

  1. Well said. Not all aging is good, or pretty, as too many of us know all too well. But if we live long enough, we are all going to get old, so why do so many people make hurtful remarks about aging or the old? Just try to be kind to one another, as best we can. My mother also died after some years of suffering from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and my greatest fear is that I will go that way, also, but I’m just determined to keep on, finding all the goodness I can in the world, and doing as much good as I can with whatever time I have left. (I’m 63, so I hope I have many more good years, but we just don’t know.)
    I enjoy your blog posts daily and admire you for your way of handling all that life has thrown at you. I hope you can enjoy a peaceful Christmas season.

  2. We know all too well that the gifts of aging come in many different forms, Jackie. Wonderful post…and I especially love the second lesson: “…should memory become impaired in one’s final years, gifts of love and warmth will still shine through.” Thank you for framing that thought.

  3. Ignorance is a big part of people’s thoughtless remarks. Although dementia has increased it is not of interest to the media (at least not here) and I think more information is needed as well as a warning that no one is excluded.

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