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FAMILY AND AGING: What Influenced You?

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.


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  • Christina G.

    Sandy, thanks for "bringing me into the conversation." My grandmother inspired me. She had marvelous posture, proud and straight. She was kind and accepting, a true lady as well. She took me to a gathering of ladies who rolled bandages for the injured soldiers in world war II. Even though she was raised with maids attending her, she baked bread to help support her family during the depression. She had a jolly, real laugh and a sweet smile. I hope to emulate her.
    aloha,
    Christina

    2 · May 1, 2014

    • Sandy M.

      how inspiring Christina. Maybe you can talk at the meetup about how you intend to emulate her in your own life. This is good stuff!

      May 1, 2014

  • Sandra O.

    That is a good story Sandy M.
    I think I am hoping to live long like my Great Grandmother, Fanny, on my dad's side. She lived to be 99 just 6 months shy of 100. All the ladies in her family lived until their late 90's. Her mother's family has an interesting history. I see my looks resemble her's and I hope that means I have the longevity genes. She lived in Detroit with Great Grandfather until he died.
    Some family learned family history from her which we have since confirmed by genealogy research. Her grandmother "Ellen" was niece to an Archbishop for Queen Victoria, in the castle/home in Ireland. Ellen's mother died when Ellen was born and the Archbishop adopted and raised her in Ireland in the castle. As a she young woman she fell in love with one of the Queen's foot guards, where pass love notes with him until they eloped. The moved to Toronto, Canada. They had children who eventually moved south to New York then Detroit where my great grandparents met, married and lived.

    2 · April 29, 2014

    • Sandra O.

      Wish you could be here.

      1 · April 30, 2014

    • Sandra O.

      I think my mom influenced me the most and maybe her mom, my grandma, both were loving and kind. I try to be that way. Mom danced and sang. I love to do both and think of mom when I am doing those things. But cannot think of anyone being a great influence on me except to show me how not to be and do.

      April 30, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I was hoping to attend my first meet-up with this group on May 6th but I need to wait around to get my internet set up. After 2+ weeks without internet (or TV) this is a priority for me:) Hopefully be able to make it on May 20th. Looking forward to meeting everyone!

    1 · April 30, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    My best "influence" is also my grandmother. Our family members are certainly the best source for up close aging observation. My grandmother was also a housekeeper Sandy. She was raised in Missouri and used to tell me the greatest stories about her experiences knowing the James brothers. I'm not sure why she wasn't with my grandfather when this event happened later in her life when the Schraders started a stage line out of Delano Calif. It happened during the depression years.

    As she related, just she and my dad were at home one evening when a "hobo" knocked on the door of their dilapidated farm house. He asked for food, which she provided. After eating, the man tried to force himself upon her and she managed to get to a shotgun propped in the corner of the room, killing him stone cold. Dad shared that that tale with me also.

    She was a resilient woman and I know, as I watched her age and die, that she left me a forever impression of grace and humility in aging.

    April 29, 2014

    • Sandra O.

      Wow, what a great story!

      April 29, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Living in Utah, I will only be able to participate via written comment. I met Sandy Mauck in 2013 via a mutual friend who lives in Tucson. Her friendship has sparked my interest in this Meet-Up group.

    It is my understanding that the last discussion topic was "Creativity". I'll share a personal experience here.

    I found unknown creative talents within me by making up “treasure hunts” every Easter for my grandchildren. I “created” ancient looking treasure maps out of blue print velum from work and hid a Treasure of chocolate and gold plastic coins to be found by following a "treasure trail" on the map. This became a family tradition until my imagination and art skills developed to where I wanted to try marketing a “Treasure Hunt Kit” in 1995. I sold 500 kits / month to Disneyland for three years. And had great success in small gift shops all along the nation's coastline. This experience was a "highlight" of my life!
    .

    The "moral" here----- you never know, unless you try.

    1 · April 16, 2014

    • Sandy M.

      Terrific post Ted. Very creative experience. Thanks and welcome as our newest cyber member!

      April 16, 2014

    • Sandra O.

      Wow, that is fantastic!!!!

      April 29, 2014

  • Phyllis C.

    My mother is the one who has most in influenced me about aging. She will be 89 soon and does not seem old. She has taken her aches and pains in stride (some of them due to a formerly life-threatening illness, some chronic & bad enough to stop most people from doing anything. She decided almost a year ago to go to Ireland this summer, and sure enough, she is. Were having a big reunion for her in San Diego in July of 2015. She plans ahead and meanwhile works on family geneology and plays bridge every week. If I can be half as spunky as she is at her age (I'm almost exactly 20 yrs younger than she) I will feel I'm living a great old age.

    1 · April 29, 2014

    • Sandy M.

      Wow what a model to follow. I am also inspired.

      April 29, 2014

    • Sandra O.

      Yes, your mother is really spunky. I want to be like her.

      April 29, 2014

  • Sandy M.

    Beatrice - Thanks for letting me know about your plans and hope to see you when you return in the Fall. Many blessings to you

    April 28, 2014

  • Phyllis C.

    We are babysitting grandkids in CA again. I'd really like to make it back for the meeting. It all depends on timing and whether the parents make their flights back.

    April 25, 2014

    • Sandy M.

      ok Phyllis. Safe travels

      April 25, 2014

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