Living on borrowed time without a thought for tomorrow.." John Lennon
I remember The Awakenings and how both uplifting and sad the story is, so I followed the links and as I finished reading was reminded that we are always, always sharing the world with epidemic diseases of various virulence and deadliness. I remember when I was a kid, there was always cholera somewhere, and it turns out there still is, and because of where it occurs, it is still very deadly: https://www.outbreakobservatory.org/outbreakthursday-1/1/16/2020/large-cholera-outbreak-on-record-continues-in-yemen - just puts perspective on covid, not belittling it, but putting in context how incredibly safe life has been during my lifetime.
America is collectively a "young soul" nation. We glorify the young, have a fascination with attempting to stay as youthful as possible through means at times medieval in my humble opinion( putting botulism in ones face comes to mind). As I grow nearer to 60, I often think of my grandmother's and how they naturally aged with beauty and not vanity. I think of everything they went through which was quite a lot and still had laughter in them. I think of how I had the delight of being a child and asking my Grandmother Helen Marie Morrow Williams so many questions about her life on the farm as a girl. Later through letters I found I learned about other aspects of her life. America has become obsessed about keeping up with not only the Kardashians but with things that are false. My mother has dementia and lives in a home. Even though her memory is no longer functional others in the home do have their memories and I enjoy hearing their stories. My father is 86 and I ask him what Washington, DC was like in the 60's and what NYC was like in the 50s.
I think it is up to those of us who care and give a shit to ask those who are elderly about their lives. Because their lives look nothing at all like the life we are all living now in America. Life was hard. But in a way from what I gather from my fathers stories and my Grandmother's stories from long ago that life had a sweeter innocence about it that has been lost. I sometimes panic that I am getting older because I dont want to miss out on anything. Sometimes I get sad because my friends who are older than myself have died. But those who only think babies and the young are precious are people I avoid. One of my best friends was a man named Alan Webber who got shot in the head on Normandy Beach on DDay a week before his 20th bday. He recovered in England for a year and had THE most delightful intriguing stories of living in Paris in attic apartments and being engaged to French girl if Chateau nobility whose heart he broke because being around maids and servants and the filthy rich unnerved him along with the staunch catholism( he was a protestant Yankee from Connecticut). Sigh...I could go on and on...I have always loved older people and have gloried in their life stories. I wish my mother did not have Dementia because I have so much I want to ask her that I will never know. And it saddens me. Viva the Elderly!
I love it when something SETS YOU ON FIRE, JENA!