Monday, June 25, 2012

30 Days of Joy: Day 25-Elders

I have always admired families and cultures who value their elders.  The respect they are given and the wisdom they impart are priceless.  Years ago, many different generations lived together so there were many opportunities for these interactions.  This is very rare nowadays.  Single family dwellings are the norm, and many family members are flung across the country.  For many of us, our siblings and parents are in different states.

This was the case with my family.  When my parents were alive, they lived in Arizona.  While I talked to them frequently on the phone, I would only see them once a year.  My brothers have moved away due to their careers: one lives in Wisconsin and the other lives in North Carolina.  We usually talk every week, but it's not the same as seeing each other frequently.

Since my grandparents and parents are gone, I am the eldest sibling.  I have a growing family-now with a granddaughter and grandson.  I also have  2 nieces and 2 nephews on my side of the family-all elementary ages.  I wish I could see them more often.  However, now that they are getting a little older, I have been surprised that they have started texting me.  This has been a great way for me to stay in touch with my oldest niece and nephew.  I am honored that they want to keep in touch with me.

Aging is an interesting thing.  Many of my friends are in the sandwich positions in their lives where they parent both their children and their parents.  I have moved beyond that and have reached elder status.  I am particularly aware of that as I research my family history.  Genealogy has given me an appreciation for those who came before me and for those following me.  I do feel wise at times, but I hope that I am keeping up with the times.  I don't want to get old and stodgy!  I want to be the cool aunt and grandma whom they like to talk to and spend time with.  In other words, I want to stay young at heart!

I am in love with the younger generations in my family.  This includes my own children who are now young adults building their own lives, and I am enjoying watching the very young.  They bring me such joy as they discover the world.  Our generations value different things as we are products of the times we grow up in.  There is no right or wrong, but we have to understand the differences between us so that we can better appreciate each other and our life choices.

I hope to be around to watch the younger members of my family grow into young adults, and I hope to always be someone they want to reach out to in order to share their worlds.  Being an elder isn't so bad, because I am in a unique position to find great joy in my family!  How very lovely!

Have you found your joy today?

No comments:

Post a Comment