2011 really sucked for me (and my family). I won’t go into the whole sob story of everything that happened, but use your imagination. Pretty much any shitty thing that could happen in a year did–except Cancer. No one got Cancer. So 2011 was the year of everything but Cancer.
Anyway, this post is not about shitty years. It’s about aging and Grandmas. I miss mine. They both died last year (around this time, hence my sentimentality) and while I always loved them and felt close to them while they were alive, it was during this year that I fully realized the influence and impact each of them had on me.
I would not have even thought about writing if it wasn’t for my Grandma Hendrickson, who let me type really bad poems on her typewriter (kitch!) and who let me order however many books I wanted from those book order forms you got from elementary school.
I would never have appreciated my education and modern-lady living if it wasn’t for my Grandma Ollie who always asked me about my latest travels and talked to me about the things she wanted to do when she was my age, but just never could.
I learned tremendous amounts from both of them about what it means to be a good wife and mother.
I also happen to be in a nebulous age category. I’m not young anymore because I have two kids, tired boobs, a mortgage, student loan debt, and graying hair. Professionally I am in my prime–experienced enough not to be an idiot but not too old so my skills are still relevant. This is why I had to leave my career last month. And, I’m not the old lady in most of my social circles, but I know my time will come.
So in this sandwich of life experience I am currently the mystery meat, and it is from this perspective that I realize the Youngs may just well lose the chance to experience the wisdom of their elders (affectionately, the Olds). In my younger siblings and other random youths I encounter, I see no signs of interest in the Olds, and I am witnessing a simultaneous hyper-connection with peers, and disconnection from everyone and everything else.
I don’t have a particular soapbox to stand on here, beyond to say that if you have influence over a young person, make them take a minute to connect with the Old(s) in their life. At the very least they will hear interesting stories like when my Grandpa used to tell me about getting drunk in GI housing, and more than likely, they’ll reap far more like life lessons you can’t find in Wikipedia.
Hug an Old today. 🙂