Saturday, February 28, 2009

Voices Of Older Women Message is Relevant

Voices of Older Women: What They Want to Say; Why You’re Not Listening has a very relevant message. It is that we need to talk to each other and listen to each other. We have a lot to teach each other. In light of the situation we find ourselves in now at this time in history, the message is more important than ever. We need to come together and be available and ready to help one another. We may not be able to solve the big problems in the world but we can make a difference in the lives of our families and neighbors.

Beginnings Endings and what’s in the middle.
Someone said life is what happens while you are planning your life. Isn’t it the truth? Did you ever expect to see such a terrible economy right in the middle of planning for next year’s vacation, that new home, travel to a special place, college education, or retirement?

How are you handling the economic crisis? Are you fearful of losing your job? Are you concerned about what may happen if we continue on this scary path of failing economy and bad news everywhere? It seems that everything we hear in the news now in terms of the economy is bad, getting worse, and the worst is yet to come. It is scary. How can we not be fearful? We need to know that things can and will get better. We need to have some hope that things will turn around. Our American history proves that it will. But we don’t hear that on the news.

Let us look to our elders - our older relatives and have a talk with them. They have lived through both bad and good times. They have seen it all. They are experienced in dealing with bad economic times. Did you ever ask your grandparent about the Great Depression, or WWII? They never talked much about those times but they had to deal with many problems. Some men worked two or three jobs to make enough money to buy food. During the war people found that many items were rationed. Women joined the work force while men went to war. Families had to help each other and their neighbors.

Ask your parents and grandparents what they think about the situation. Getting together with some older members of our families and in society might allay some fears that we have now. They have experience and memories of difficult times. They also know that “this too shall pass”. They may have some ideas of how to turn things around. We could have an elder forum - a group of seniors at church or at a senior center or even at the schools to talk with us - bring some comfort and consolation to those of us who are fearful and worried about the future. Let’s invite them to talk to us.

Older people have the time, patience, and experience to talk and listen to the younger people who may be worried about their situation in life and are looking for some answers.
In Voices there is mentioned a web site, Elder Wisdom Circle, which is a nationwide organization of seniors offering free advice through the internet.
Fourteen members meet as a group and go over requests for advice, and come up with the best solution. This group was originally set up by Doug Meckleson, who often turned to his grandmother for advice, and wanted to have a place where seniors could use their life experiences to help others. Check out the website.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Beginnings and Endings

Beginnings and Endings
Somebody died this week. A neighbor of mine just died suddenly. She hadn’t been sick or given any indication that her life was about to end but it did suddenly. It just happened. We came back from a short trip and someone told us that she had died. It was a terrible shock.

She was a wife, mother and grandmother, a sister, daughter, friend, actress, and I’m sure many other things to many people. I don’t know how she got along with her family. I don’t know if she had resolved issues with her children about old grievances. I don’t know if she had prepared herself for the possibility even though it could happen any time.
But I hope she did.

I wonder if she had anyone that she had wanted to call but put it off. She probably got busy and thought there would always be time. She may have had someone she wanted to thank but never got around to it. She would do it tomorrow. She probably had many things she wanted to do, but would take care of them tomorrow. Now her family and friends will get together to mourn her passing and celebrate her life.

We are unprepared for death even though it is inevitable. We don’t think about it and certainly don’t talk about it. There are so many other things to do. But her sudden death reminds me of all the "stuff" I want to sort out, people I want to call, cards and letters I want to send, family and friends I want to tell that I love them, visits I want to make, and time to sit and enjoy the beauty of life. I want to celebrate life now! But I guess I’ll do it tomorrow.

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