Old People

Weekly Sabbath Survey

Old People — 10-23-2014

Today our family and friends will be joining Tony and me to celebrate his 70th birthday. It doesn’t seem possible that we are this OLD. And seventy is one of those birthday’s that doesn’t bother you like 40 or 50 might. By this age, a person is usually, pretty settled into the truth that you have much more past than you do future. You find yourself thinking much more about the sweet by and by on that beautiful shore in heaven.

And sometimes we may get to thinking ‘what’s the use’ and feel almost worthless, as if maybe our whole life hasn’t amounted to much of anything. Usually, about the time I get there, somebody will call, or write an e-mail, and I realize that I am still in the swim of life, even if I am mostly sitting on the dock or wading in the shallows watching other people swim. I still know that there are things for me to do. If not, I would be taken out of here already!

Throughout history, the extended generational family has been the glue that held society together. When I was growing up, our family was a big one, with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, great aunts and uncles, second cousins and second cousins once removed. I never had a brother but there was a good supply of male cousins, older and younger than me. I loved them all and claimed them all. I learned from my extended family. Every adult and even the older kids were teachers. In those days, there was no TV or computers or those horrible phones that have taken over many a life now. So family gatherings were great entertainment and provided a loving atmosphere at the same time. My Dad’s family was musical (guitars) and Mama came from a family of singers. So most gatherings there was at least a couple of hours of singing country music and then, The Gospel Hour before bedtime. What memories I have of those times.

These days, many families are far flung, all are super busy, moms work, kids are so involved there is hardly a spare minute to find time for ‘family.’ Instead of giving up, lamenting the awful society we have now, in my opinion, we need to become more proactive toward family get-to-gathers. Even though our ‘get up and go has got up and went’, we still need to make more of an effort.

We oldsters should be doing whatever we can to insinuate ourselves into the lives of our children and grandchildren. They are all so busy that they forget we are sitting around at home, waiting for an invitation to come have supper, or an afternoon of watching football, or attending grand kids’ sports events. So, when they don’t call or invite for weeks at a time, I say instead of grousing about how the kids don’t pay any attention to us, let’s do whatever we can: just show up at their house, or call and say you’re coming over and are ten minutes away, or that you want to come for a weekend visit. (If you live in the same town, the weekend thing is probably not going to fly.) Invite them over to your house and if you’re like me and can’t cook for a gang any more, get takeout chicken or pizza, use paper plates and canned drinks and have a big time without a big fuss.

Our grandchildren need us to teach them to sew, crochet, to kick a football or shoot a 22. They need us to tell them stories, that our grandparents told us, especially ones about where our family came from and who belongs to whom. I should tell my grand kids how their Indian ancestors lived on the frontier in houses heated only by fireplaces and the wood cookstove. That their toilet was an outhouse, and everybody bathed (once a week) in a big wash tub in the kitchen where it was most warm by the stove. We should tell them stories from our childhood, how there was no such thing as a ball point pen, a microwave oven, or even a TV. We need to tell them stories from the Bible like my grandmother did. I read Bible stories to my oldest grandson, told him about Jesus from an early age. He accepted the Lord at age 6 and has been active in Christian youth fellowship and summer camps all through his teen years.

Our grand children need for us to hug them and love them, and to know that they can count on us. Some say there is a strange bond between grandparents and grandchildren because they have a common enemy. I’ve seen t-shirts that say, If Mama says ‘no’, ask Mawmaw. There might be something to this!

So, hey! Seniors rise up, claim your place in the family! We need to insist on being an integral part of our family’s world. We need to help our children make memories for the grand kids. It’s what grandparents do!

Grandchildren are the crown of older people, and the glory of children is their aging parents. Proverbs 17:6

Charlene Reams Manning

Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah

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One thought on “Old People

  1. If I live to be 70 I hope I am doing as much for The Lord and shinning as bright as you are! If you were my grandma I would let you teach me everything you know about sewing, cooking and Indians, and more so about Yeshua! Love you

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