Access the library while you can
By now everyone knows that the mission of the Bring Smiles to Seniors program is ensuring that those that paved the way for us are reminded that they are remembered and loved. The contributions that they have made to clearing the way for a better life for us must be celebrated and appreciated for the gift that they were. Interacting with them while we have them is so important. When they are gone our ability to extract knowledge and wisdom is gone with them.
Before my grandmother was in her late stages of dementia I had the opportunity to interact with her a lot. I asked her questions about family, events and other things that only she would know. I took notes, asked for pictures and got as much as I could before those memories began to fade for her. Even with that, I still think of things that I would like to know that I now can’t ask. Imagine how much more frustrating that would be if I had not asked any questions at all.
Seniors are the encyclopedias of our past. In those small brains are volumes of information that only they possess. If they haven’t transcribed those memories for us, then the only way for us to get them is to sit with them and ask. We need to take time out of our busy personal lives to be with them and read their mind books, which in turn makes them feel important and useful.
In my recent trip to England I got to visit my ancestral home of Rochester south of London. Because of my conversations with my grandmother and her contributions she made to our ancestral book, I was able to look for certain things and experience that place in a way that I would not have otherwise been able. As I walked the grounds of old castles and churches I felt the presence of my ancestors and at different points felt like I was home. Sitting with her and asking her questions was her gift to me that I would use later in life.
As seniors age, it is very easy to get so mired in our own lives that we don’t ever find the time to spend with them. We will get to it next week, or the next, or the next. Suddenly the next isn’t possible because they are no longer here. Once that happens, all the knowledge that we desire is gone with them and then we are left wishing we had.
If you have that someone that is the key to understanding your past, make a point to be with them this week. Extract that knowledge that you desire. In doing so you not only fulfill yourself, but give them purpose as well.
Mornings with Ron is available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple or Google Podcast, Spotify or most podcast sites.