Ok…hear me out…notice I said stuff and not people. I have nothing against elderly people. In fact, they are some of my absolute favorite folks on the planet.
Can I just be brutally honest for a minute? Promise you won’t talk about me behind my back, gasp in disbelief, or judge me? Eh, what the hay…that’s on you if you do. I don’t like the way old stuff smells (moth balls; eeewww), looks (broken down), or feels (rough). I have no appreciation for family lineage, ancestor stories, or history. I know, I know, I’m shallow. When I see old magazines or books, “fire hazard” is the first thing that comes to my mind. Give me a kindle or pinterest to read those books and view the lovely designs!
I don’t value old recipes on cookie dough stained index cards written in great grandmother’s handwriting. Instead I am tempted to just google for a recipe similar and put my own spin on it, never making it the same way twice. When I see an old quilt made of vintage fabrics or grandpas old shirts and ties, I don’t get goosebumps. Instead I start to think of all the skin cells on the old blanket and wonder when it was washed last. (Let’s face it, those things have to be washed in a large capacity washing machine which means they must be taken to a laundromat and no one really has time to do that these days). Don’t even get me started about the smell…moth balls, body odor or morning breath? #sorrynotsorry…BLECH!!! Am I speaking the truth here? (Please don’t send me hate mail about your little old granny’s hand-stitched quilt that has been in your family for over 100 years because that really will make me gag…sorry). I don’t even own or care about having an iron skillet!! GASP! Yes, I would take one if it was gifted to me, but not so I could make my grandmother’s famous fried chicken in it. Even the rudimentary tools used in farming the land that can bring a pretty penny at auction do not interest me.
Don’t get me wrong…I like vintage look from time to time, but it has to be new stuff that has been made to look a little vintage or used. But that’s about the best I can do. I get it honestly. My mom would have thrown us away as kids if we couldn’t run faster than her (sorry, mom). Aside from a ceramic bird phase that she went through (she still loves birds) she didn’t keep anything around too long. Certainly not something that would collect dust. She collected them only for her personal enjoyment and because they matched her decor of the month. Not at all intending to keep them to build collector’s value.
But what about those frail hands who have carefully seasoned those cast iron skillets…through years of “famous fried chicken”? Who’s bbq sauce-stained fingerprints reside on those old recipe cards? The man who wore the ties every single Sunday, both morning and evening services? The precious crooked fingers and purply veined hands that lovingly hand-stitched every. single. stitch. of that beautifully woven tapestry of life that is used to give others warmth and comfort? The books with yellowed pages who’s words echoed in the evening times when the sleepy-eyed children would soon be turning in? The man who’s callused hands that tirelessly held the tools sunup to sundown so his family would eat?
Older people give me hope. Hope for the days when life is unfair. Hope in the situations that are just too big to handle. Hope in the darkest of moments when I just. cannot. do. it. anymore. Those who have lived long enough, have felt devastating sorrow, see gross injustice, and lived through financial ruin. They have been mistreated, broken down, depressed, hungry, lonely, and hopeless.
Older folks carry a breathtaking, light-infused, perspective that reveals itself as a radiant glow that envelopes their souls.
They are clothed in humble wisdom, their smiles are unquestionably genuine, and their wrinkles share the story of a life well lived.
Each and every one of them are an overcomer. YES. An overcomer. They have all faced fears, experienced failure, been knocked down, and been wronged. Yet, they’ve chosen to get up, dress up, show up and NEVER give up. For that reason older people are MY HEROES!
the whole truth and nothing but,