Imagine living a hundred years! The things you must learn, see, experience! I`ve always considered it a gift to be able to spend time with someone who has so much time to live and to love. We have so much to learn from them.
I know that most everyone has a special fondness for their grandparents and I would be no exception. Although she had 14 children, 58 grandchildren, 75 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren, she had more than enough room in her heart for all of us and for everyone else in between. When you were the lucky one to sit and chat with her, she would squeeze your hands, look into your eyes and hang onto every word that left your lips. You felt as though, you at that moment, were her favorite. The most important, the most loved. It was her special gift.
Over the years, my dad and his brothers and sisters have shared many photos and things that she wrote throughout her life. This piece remains my favorite. Although it is her reflection on old age (at the age of 92), I feel there is something to learn from it for all of us. I believe she wouldn't mind me sharing some of her wisdom with you.
Old age - I’ve decided is a gift. I am now at a time in my life when I can really feel God watching over me. My body, I despair of: the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, the sagging breasts-what an old lady lives in that mirror! But I would never trade any of these aging negatives for such a wonderful family I have, good neighbors and friends-a wonderful life!
I’ve become more kind to myself, less critical of myself. I’ve become my own best friend. I don’t scold myself for eating that extra chocolate or cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly gizmo that someone has later to unclutter me of-I am entitled to overeat, to undereat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon before they were able to enjoy the freedom that comes with age.
Whose business is it if I choose to read or play solitaire until 4 am-and then sleep till noon? Sometimes, when I need the exercise and fun, I will dance around the house to the music of Angele Arsenault and shout her words of song, even if Romeo (her son who lived next door) may, by chance, hear me.
Sure, over the years my heart has often been broken - how can your heart not be torn to pieces when you lose a loved one to the Lord, one time or another, when a very close relative or friend becomes very ill, when you are desperately lonely for a dear one? Even when a dear pet gets run over by a car, and another just fades away on your living room couch. But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion.
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn grey/white and my wrinkles show. I have both laughed and cried. I have also had the opportunity to walk, to dance, to swim, to ride a bicycle, a car, a 4 wheeler. Above all, I’ve been able to pray to God for myself and for each one of you and or all whom we wished were with us and for all who are hurting in this turbulent world.
So-I love being 92 years old-and while I’m still here, I’m enjoying my little Heaven here in Souris. And I pray that you will all reach Old Age and have your own little Heaven wherever you are.
My grandmother, Clarisse Gallant, sitting on her mother's knee almost a century ago.