The other day I was looking through the classified section of the Pinch, which is a weekly newspaper that comes out on Wednesdays with the grocery sale ads. I usually glance through the classifieds just to see what is there. This day, I saw this wonderful ad that a family had taken out to honor their three family matriarchs, who are all still living. Just listen to this!
“Eleanor, Elaine and Lorelei, share stories spanning the 1920′s on Cedar Street in Spokane, when the street was unpaved and surrounded by native pine trees, to life in Tyler, Washington where they played small school baseball (girls were allowed on the team then because the school was so small and the team was short-handed), to early depression years on a farm located on what is now Turnbull Game Refuge. There the city family learned to cope without electricity!
Before finding and marrying her true love and becoming a restaurateur in the Tri-Cities, Elaine Liddell Utterback, born June 17, 1916, left home to work at Jantzen Beach, Oregon. On hiatus in Bremerton, she took a dare to swim around the battleship Missouri to the cheers of sailors on the deck.
Lorelei Liddell Sowers, born May 17, 1918, married a career fireman in Spokane. She devoted her life to raising her five children, and made a home for six foster children.
Eleanor Liddell McDowell/Holt born March 4, 1920, stopped to share the news of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance with a neighbor on the way to the mailbox. Two years later, she became that neighbor’s bride. Eleanor spent the next 35 years as a farmer’s wife, and continued to manage the farm for another 35 years after her husband’s passing.”
What an amazing interweaving of life stories to pass on to your family! This is what intrigues me about working with the elderly. No, I do not feel ‘called’ to it, and I don’t even enjoy my job all that much. What I do enjoy however, are the people that a care for.
I love to hear their stories, either from them or from their families. It forces me to seriously consider this person, whether or not they can respond appropriately to me, or don’t make sense when they speak, or are combative. Every single one lived independently, raised families (or had families that were raised around them in which they participated), had hobbies and interests, and even in some cases had fame and were looked up to by many others. It is a respect that we should all have for every person.
The elderly are respected and cared for in most other countries, yet in the US—this highly developed nation—they are sometimes looked upon as a burden. This should not be! From this ad in the paper though, I can tell that this family cares very much about their elder family members.
Go talk to Grandma, Gramma, Nana, Abuela, or what ever name she goes by in your family. Ask her about her life. I’m sure she would love to share it with you.