“Old Bridges and me”…. insightful thoughts …by my 96 year old aunt

I just returned from a weekend visit to New Hampshire….while I was there, my 96 year old Aunt Okie (born in Okanogan, Washington) shared  more of her recent writing…which I’ll add to her own blog, “Poems by Okie”   /  “96 years old and still writing”  (check out 20 Steps Down the Hall… an amazing poem of strength and frustration!)….Her writing and insights are so special that I’m adding more of them to Pocket Perspectives, too.  Here’s one….

“Old Bridges and me”
a bit “tongue in cheek”…
but an insightful and important message, too.

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(Okie mentioned that she  prefers her writing to be viewed in her own handwriting… for the flow and authenticity of her writing…so here it is…)

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And here’s that same selection typed up, in case it’s difficult to read on some computer screens.

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Reading those ideas really got me thinking about the ideas she expressed….Again, she’s writing tongue in cheek….but there’s  more there…the idea of how we might view aging in America as becoming “functionally obsolete”….and I just can’t let it go….I just can’t…it’s FAR TOO IMPORTANT  an issue...for Okie, for that generation and for each one of us, as we transition into less familiar “stages” of our lives…

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So…here I go again…
DonQuixote… aka Pocket Perspectives….charging along!
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Perhaps we can all learn to shift…
to look at varying “stages” of life in an expanded manner,
a manner that includes more awareness, greater understanding, wiser acceptance,
increased flexibility and deeper appreciation
more acknowledgement and valuing of the wisdom of older people
to cherish and value the precious insights
they are able to offer to us

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Perhaps, Okie can no longer participate in physical activities that she loved… hiking, cross country skiing, paddling her canoe, going on adventures, doing all the gardening.  Her contributions ARE different now…

but I consider these newer contributions
  to be equally special
and definitely important!

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I also added this selection to her own blog, “Poems by Okie,”  “96 Years Old and Still Writing”….  The poem “20 Steps Down the Hall” fits in with this idea of “safety,” perceived “obsolescence” and undesired “over-protection”…. may we all learn from her insights…

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A WONDERFUL, very important  book that ties in with these very important ideas…“The Second Half of Life, Opening the 8 Gates of Wisdom,” by Angeles Arrien.  (handout/summary) (a previous post about that book: “Today I am truly grateful…” )

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About Pocket Perspectives

A blog about shifting perspectives...
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13 Responses to “Old Bridges and me”…. insightful thoughts …by my 96 year old aunt

  1. Pingback: “Old Bridges and me” | 95 Years Old and Still Writing: Okie's Poems

  2. sufilight says:

    Wow, you aunt is 96, has a sharp mind, good writing skills; she is not functionally obsolete! I often ponder about aging since I am a baby boomer, and wish our society respected the elders the way cultures such as the Native Americans do. I remember reading of another culture (but can’t remember the country) where elders are treated with honor – so much that they actually enjoy being older..

    As for your Mom, I can understand her frustration. However, her frustration suggests to me that she is still young at heart and I think it’s wonderful! I hope that her spirit will continue to shine in everything she does. We as a society need the wisdom of our elders.

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    • Thanks for your input, Marie. I agree…she isn’t functionally obsolete. And I guess that my mother wishing to ride a bike again is young at heart. I hope there’ll be a shift in how elders are listened to and honored in contemporary America. I think it will be up to all of us to inspire and implement that shift. I sure hope it happens!

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  3. I remember Okie’s “20 Steps Down the Hall”. How fortunate that you were able to go back East to see her. Missed you…I thought you were gone for a bit.

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    • Hi Georgette, I think this piece is somewhat of a variation on 20 steps down the hall, in a more subtle way. It was good to go back for a visit and very good to see people again. It always seems so far away, but is actually an easy trip.

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  4. nrhatch says:

    Glad you had a chance to “bridge the gap” between you and your aunt by flying across country to New Hampshire.

    Obsolete or not . . . I love covered bridges in New England. 😀

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  5. How wonderful! Her words are worth studying! I can’t think of anything better than to be so alert and still contributing at 96 years old! Lovely!

    Like

  6. hugmamma says:

    As I age, I’ve obviously done more thinking about growing older, and the challenges it entails. Besides the obvious physical ones…are the mental and emotional dilemmas that accompany them. None of us can escape old age. We can only try to live with them…without over-worrying and over-stressing. Easier said than done.

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