Monday, July 22, 2013

The Elders

The elderly as they once were.....

This article that has been re-circulating around Facebook lately. It is so captivating to be reminded that Elders were once soldiers, nurses, fire-fighters, knock-outs!

I shared it with my children and they were fascinated! They call older folks "elders" and I love it. I have never corrected them, because I think the term "elder" captures the essence of a life well-lived. It captures the tip-of-the-hat respect that people of age deserve after a long, fruitful journey.

I simply love looking at photos of my grandparents as vibrant, happy youngsters - with their whole lives ahead of them.
My brother recently shared this photo of my Grandparents, Kay and Coye Whitby.

This photo is from 1958. My mother was born in '46. So mom was 12 and Gran Gran and Daddy Kay were in their mid 30's. I am in awe of this simple moment captured.

Coye was a beautician and Kay worked for the Railroad.

Daddy Kay was a gentle soul - never cross with us, his grandchildren; always kind, always seeking quality time with us. He went to church every Sunday from the time he was a boy until he died at age 84. He provided a great middle class living for his family. He even allowed my dad to live with them and work during high school until my parents could graduate and marry. After he retired, he became a realtor in our small texas town, and they were both well-known, well-loved, well-thought of.

Gran Gran had a colorful sense of humor, was a strong woman with a big personality. She was the matriarch of the family. A woman who knew what she wanted and how to make it happen. I remember that she was a hell-of-a golfer and that she threw the most amazing parties. Nothing can touch the memories I have of Christmas Eve parties at her house. Pie after pie after pie donned the dessert table. All the adults were dressed to the 9s, and always very jubilant, funny and interactive (it's only in my adulthood that I understand it was because all wine she served!).

As my birthday approaches, I can't help but think of all the elders who have gone before me, and how my time as an elder is fast upon me. May we honor those lives-well-lived among us. May we remember our youth and embrace our present. May we not fear and not fret about the days ahead.

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