Excerpt from Daily Cures Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie Michaelis
I learned so much from my mother in her last few years. She was very much unaware of the lessons she was teaching. My sisters and I all agree that the predominant virtue of Mother’s life was strength. She was widowed at 51 years of age, ran a gasoline dealership in an all-male industry, and managed her home until she was 90. She was strong. The flip side of that virtue was stubbornness. The need for her to be decisive and correct in her thoughts was essential for her survival. In other words, she was always right. I am very insightful about Mother’s life because the apple has not fallen far from the tree!
Mother had a mild stroke in her 90s. She recovered beautifully, but it did affect her short-term memory. She had trouble with names and what she had for breakfast, but she was great at stories of her childhood. Sound familiar? She became more dependent on others, which was not to her liking, but she had no choice. Around all of her disabilities emerged something beautiful and instructive. She could no longer dwell on negative thoughts because they would slip away to that blank spot on her brain. She became so grateful for help in the present moment. She lived in the now. She began to say things like, “I might be wrong about this, but I think that I took my pills this morning.” She would say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” for the smallest gestures. Her grateful meter was over the top!
So what did I learn? I could start living like that today! Stop dwelling on the negative things. Don’t sweat the small stuff (and it is all small stuff). Put my grateful meter in high gear. Live in the now. Forgetfulness is not all bad. We have much to learn from our senior population.