Friday, December 14, 2007

Haley and I were playing Hi-Ho Cherrio Tonight while listening to "Sounds of the Season" on the tv. If you don't have that, it is just Christmas music that plays and it shows pictures of the artist that is singing. A picture of Patti Page came on the screen and the song was from 1955. She was so young and beautiful. If she was around 30 then, she would be 85 now (assuming she is still alive.) I know nothing about Patti Page, but I spent some time wondering about her...who her friends were, her lovers, what she was like as a person, what made her want to sing, etc...and then I thought of her now and what her life is like as an elderly person. I wonder if anyone looks at her and thinks "wow, she is pretty...I wonder what her life is like." I'm guessing probably not. We don't tend to do that with older people do we?

Time goes so fast doesn't it? Curtis and I were just talking about that today. We were in a mall that we used to go to when we were kids, and now we were walking through it with our SECOND child. Hair is thinning, waistlines are widening...but we're still the same on the inside. We have stories to tell, and we'll have even more when we are in our 80's. But will anyone ask about them? Will anyone want to know who we are?

If you see an older person, or a person that seems to go unnoticed...Notice Them...Ask questions...Make them feel loved. That's what we all want right? It may make a difference in someone's life, especially during this Christmas season.....


Diane Davis said...

You're writing has really been touching me, Kristi. This is a timely post too. I was talking to my mother last night and asked her what she was going to get for my grandmother (her mother) for Christmas. She said, "Nothing. She is 93 and doesn't need anything." It made me sad because she might not need objects, but she does need to be remembered. I often think of my grandmother and wonder if she considers that life on earth is going to expire soon. She still lives alone, but she moves very slowly these days. I don't ever want her to be afraid or to feel alone. She has so many stories and I don't think many people ask about them anymore. So my mom might now do anything, but she will be getting two cashmere scarves from the NYC sidewalks from me this year!

Kristi said...

very cool diane...I'm so glad it made you think of your Grandma. My Grandma passed away a couple of months ago and her birthday was christmas day...i wish i could talk to her and ask her some more stories. I think about her a lot when I see older people. I just hope your Grandma and everyone else does feel loved and appreciated this Christmas.

It is so good to hear from you... I'm enjoying your blog too!!!

Don said...

This was such a special posting for me, Kristi. Not just because of Grandma's passing this year, but because you expressed a life-value that has always been of high priority for me.

Learning stories from those older, wiser, more experienced people around us is one of the greatest joys in life. Unfortunately we fail to take the time to look beneath the wrinkles and the quivering voices, the silver hair and the sometimes-quirky "it-used-to-be" perspective on things.

Your article brought back some amazing memories of my early ministry. Shortly after your mom and I were married, I was hired to be a youth minister for a church in Melbourne, Florida. We moved into an apartment located directly across a little lawn/patio from an 84-year old lady named Lucile Jenkins. Lucile became a surrogate grandmother and life-mentor to me.

During my four years of ministry in Florida, seldom did a week pass that I didn't spend one or more early-afternoon hours in Lucile's living room. Our routine for each visit began with me preparing iced tea for us and dishing out some coffee ice cream that she always kept on hand for me. Then I'd cozy up in a La-Z-Boy rocker-recliner for an hour or so as Lucile would proceed to share stories: stories from her childhood, her college years, stories of her hobbies as a photographer and women's club leader, and her marriage to the handsome young dentist who became a prominent leader in their Mississippi hometown. As a happily passive conversationalist, it was always a joy for me to sit and listen to her talk and talk and talk.

The stories were amazing. We re-navigated the peaks and valleys of her life, the joys and the sorrows. One of the most painful realities of Lucile's life at that time was that her own children never seemed to listen to her or to consider anything she had to say as being relevant or significant. I remember always be so frustrated in hearing about that, asking myself how these intelligent, attractive adults who were so privileged to call Lucile "Mother," didn't realize what a treasure they had in their midst. I was happy to be there for her and experience the glow of her life that should have been the privilege of her too-busy children and grand-children.

I have always been so thankful that my life's path intersected with this dear woman's. Her stories and her outlook on life will always be among of my most cherished memories. She taught me lessons about respecting people of all ages--especially those in their later years.

Thank you for reaffirming for me the great value of the time I spent with this godly woman.

I love you!