As most of you know, I'll be in the hospital this date. But Christina Gilman has graciously agreed to step up to the plate and facilitate this discussion I think the topic is a good one and look forward to hearing how it went. - Sandy
What “older adults” do you remember most from your childhood? Were they bent and stiff? Were they crabby or depressed? Maybe they were lively, active and healthy looking or somewhere in between . Our family history can determine what and how we ourselves age. Bring your stories and see if we can share how your forebearers influenced your attitudes and behaviors.
Recently, I shared this story about my immigrant Swedish Grandmother. She had come to America at the age of 17, worked on a farm in Minnesota then ran away to Illinois to live with her sister. There she meet Charles, my grandfather who was working in the fields. I have long treasured this story and when I think of my grandmother, I visually remember her as a tall thin, strong woman who didn't speak much, but had a kindly nature. She and my grandfather lived with one or another of my aunts and their husbands. It was a normal thing in those days but she never lived with us. I only remember her as being "old" even though I know she died around age 71 (younger than I am now).
My point in telling this story is that she influenced me to realize a woman could be adventurous and brave, yet she was "old" and dependent on her children. It was a mixed bag. I vowed I'd not let that happen to me and in retrospect it hasn't. Whether my image of my grandmother as being "dependent" was correct or not ( she actually worked as a housekeeper for many years before she died) doesn't matter. It was how I interpreted it.
Perhaps you have similar stories of your family, your ancestors, or even of neighbors, teachers, etc. who served as "models" of older age. What kinds of stories do you have to tell? How have you been influenced and how do you see yourself growing older now? Enjoy this discussion and please let me know how it went.