Gramma & Grampa Walton from the 80’s TV show

NOTE: It has long been the opinion of this blogger that FAMILY is the center of American culture. But with the progressive culture of the 21st Century, FAMILY structure is strained beyond definition. The articles below illustrate part of the issue, but the biggest thing is that we, as human beings, need PURPOSE to live meaningful lives. Today, so often, our Seniors are stashed away in a “retirement” home, or “Independent Living Center,” or “Assisted Living Center” and in doing so, we steal from them a reason to live. We do the same, many times, with our children by putting them in daily daycare facilities.

Family consists of parent(s) and children, but also grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. What helped many families through the tough times of the 1930’s and 40’s was FAMILY. if mom had to work, gramma and grampa were there to keep an eye on children and teach them right from wrong. If one got hurt, the others covered for them at work or doing chores. If one achieved something great, they all shared the joy! Money may have been scarce, but families were rich with love and memories.

Something for today’s families to consider … BBB

Honoring Our Elders on National Senior Citizens Day

While many may not have heard about National Senior Citizens Day, it occurs every year on Aug. 21. Initiated by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, this day is set apart to acknowledge the life-long contributions our nation’s seniors have made to their community and country. President Reagan in Proclamation 5847 stated”

“For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute,” Ronald Reagan said. “We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure that our communities are good places in which to mature and grow older—places in which older people can participate to the fullest and can find the encouragement, acceptance, assistance, and services they need to continue to lead lives of independence and dignity.

President Reagan

“Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, president of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Aug. 21, 1988 as National Senior Citizens Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

Take Your Shoes Off …
Growing up, Mom had a rule for anyone who walked into the house: “Please take your shoes off at the door.” Perhaps this request was rooted in Japanese custom but mom believed it kept her house clean. When Mom became a widow, she chose to move in with her eldest son—me. The rule had not changed over the years and to honor Mom, whenever anyone entered my home, we took our shoes off.

The reasons why this was the custom really did not matter. What was important was showing Mom the honor, respect and love she was due throughout her entire life. For no other reason, I did it simply because she was Mom.

If I as a son understood the importance of honoring my Mom, God valued her so much more. He knew every step she would take and every challenge she would face. It’s true for each one of us. God knows you, loves you and is looking out for you.

We Need Your Wisdom
God has not forgotten you! He has a special place in His heart—just for you. Whatever your present circumstances may be, God’s thoughts toward you are good, and full of hope for your future. He has a plan and a purpose for you that are greater than any temporary situation. He will keep and fulfill His promises to you.

Perhaps you are reflecting on your life and taking an honest assessment of the ways you’ve overcome challenges and also examining your shortcomings. Regardless of your past, your life experiences have become your life lessons that are producing a life message for the next generation. You are of great value and have much to impart to us. There is purpose for your life far greater than that which you may realize. > > > READ MORE

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The Church and the Elderly

Conflicting emotions flood my spirit as I enter the front doors of Laurel Grove retirement community. Elation to see my 92-year-old grandmother “Mim” enlivens me. Her mind is still sharp and our time together is always filled with rich stories of yesteryear and a few off-color jokes. I look forward to my visits, which don’t occur frequently enough.

And yet, I’m also saddened by the occasion. The knowledge that she is stranded in an “old folks home” serves as a subtle reminder of a valuable relationship that will not last forever. Mim is undoubtedly in the twilight of her life, and each visit could be my last.

We exchange hellos and hugs before moving to the dining room for lunch. I clear chairs around the table to make room for her electronic wheelchair and take a seat next to her. As we talk, I survey the faces surrounding us.

A woman with purplish-grey hair nestles next to the window. I’m told senility has set in, and she has worn the same outfit to lunch for many days now. One of my grandmother’s best friends, a cheerful woman, sits down across from me. Mim has to give her a play-by-play of what is occurring throughout the meal because macular degeneration has stolen her eyesight.

While my grandmother explains that the salad cart is making its way toward us, I notice him. He sits by himself, a forlorn and serious look plastered on his face. When passersby say “hello,” he raises a hand but no more. I begin to pity this man, and think about how little he has to offer a world that has so clearly passed him by.

Norman is an old German. And he is Jewish.

I assume that this grump is probably like many old people I know: unproductive and unenlightened. Racist, anti-immigrant, anti-gay. A product of a bygone era of suppressed women and Jim Crow laws. He’s certainly not like me. I busy myself with meaningful causes.

Mim noticed my affixed eyes. Perhaps she even reads my mind. She reminds me that he has a name. And a story.

Norman is in 90s, and has come to Laurel Grove only recently. His wife visits regularly, but he seems connected to few others from the outside world. Perhaps this is because he’s not from this community. He’s not even from this country.

Norman is German. And Jewish. He survived the holocaust as a child, but his parents were not so lucky. When Norman was an adolescent, Nazi soldiers killed both of his parents and forced him to watch. While such a tragedy would scar any youth, Norman seems unbittered in his old age. He’s not racist as I assumed, but rather a victim of racism himself. > > > READ MORE