On becoming an elder
It was a great shock to me when my great niece asked me to write a story. “We are to ask an elder to tell us a family story,” she said to me.
I turned around and no one was there. Was she talking to me?
Oh. Uh oh. It was me. I am an elder. Shedding the shock, I wrote her a story and another and another.
Somewhere in the telling, I accepted being elder though I prefer tribal words such as Wise One.
These things I’ve learned:
We must back step back and give others center stage. We’ve had our turn.
We must shine light on the unseen, the under represented, the unheard.
We will lose our parents, our friends, a partner. Solitude is a strange bedfellow but one we will accept or whine. Hopefully We get to choose.
It’s time to plan Why burden others to figure out how to cope with our ending?
We might think about taking care of each other as long as we can. Our children and our families have lives to lead in their prime. Let them do it guilt free.
Figure out what’s most important and make time to do it.
Because time isn’t on our side. Body parts fail. Vision blurs. We stumble. But with Effort we might learn to do this elder stage with grace and dignity. It’s our duty and if we accept it, another generation will know how when it is their turn.