This past weekend we went up to Tampa so I could meet Jeremy’s Grandma Millie. Grandma Millie was unable to travel for our wedding last year, so she is one member of the family I have not met until now. We had a wonderful time, I always enjoy a good road trip and we were blessed to avoid most of the thunderstorms that were in town for Memorial Day.
Grandma Millie lives at the University Village, a senior living community that has everything you need – exercise room, in door pool, dining room, gardens, lakes, all kinds of activities. They have guest rooms that are similar to hotel rooms, so we were able to stay right there to visit and explore where she spends her days. She moved there about 11 years ago and remembered when she moved in that Jeremy was just certain that this is where her husband would have wanted her to be. And that is still true – the staff is kind, everything is clean and well cared for and there is so much to do. It was wonderful to see someone that matters so much to him and to his family being treated with respect and able to live life to the fullest, not being put off to the side based on her age. I am certain this is part of why her mind has remained so sharp and she is looking forward to a big birthday bash for her 90th next year.
This trip reminded me of how rich with experience the lives of older people are. Learning to work the land in order to survive, making the decision that education matters and pressing on, breaking through socially acceptable ceilings, losing siblings to diseases that we never see, living through multiple wars, the pride of families well raised and so many other rich memories. We were blessed to be able to hear directly from Grandma Millie some of her favorite memories and impressions of her life. She said she and many others where she lives are individually taking the time to write down the story of their lives and their families so it can be passed on. What an amazing commitment to the next generation and such an undertaking.
I think that it’s wonderful that with the advent of blogging many of today’s stories are being jotted down as they happen, the memory is safely stored on a server somewhere and then we can forge ahead knowing we can retrieve it when needed. Just don’t forget there are those among us in our families and communities that did not blog their way through their twenties or thirties and have wonderful things to share.