The Ebb and Flow of Life
Flowers unfurling in the sweet embrace of spring sunlight naturally focuses my attention on the cycles of life. With each season we encounter fresh challenges and new lessons. The long days of youth seem shorter with each passing year, speeding up in highly productive decades and then slowing again along with our metabolism. We all directly and indirectly experience this ebb and flow in ourselves and loved ones. There is no stopping the hands of time but I am working hard at ignoring my chronological age and slowing down the clock a little by choosing a healthy lifestyle. There are no guarantees but like most of us, I don’t want to become a burden to my children.
Both of my parents assumed the responsibility of elder caretakers. Dad’s father was claimed by Alzheimer’s in his 70s, and my Mom’s father was stricken with Parkinson’s in his 60s. They both did their best to manage both emotionally and financially and make wise decisions but like most who suddenly are given that role were unaware of the mental and physical stress which accompanied it.
I am proud that my Mother still lives independently as I assume the role of caregiver in my turn. Ninety-one years young, she still looks forward to being busy and meeting with friends yet that has not stopped her from aging and suffering from back and heart issues. I make sure her diet is filled with healthy fresh foods, something many elders seem to have little interest in, and am pleased to witness the positive response. She now wants more fresh foods in her routine and has remembered how fresh wholesome food used to taste!
Everyone’s story is different yet we have much in common. Part three in our three-part series on aging, “Caring for the Caregiver,” by Linda Sechrist, alerts us all to the vital importance of keeping the family caregiver well (page 20). When we’re at our best, we are better equipped to express compassion, patient tenderness and wise resourcefulness in tending to others. Especially difficult challenges and tasks require extra energy and a positive attitude. When we pay attention to our own well-being, we are able to be there to help others.
Take the time to remember Earth Day this April 22. Join a Green Team in your community; see the “Green Teams” on pages 28 and 29 to see what is transforming your town. These Green Teams are popping up everywhere and are great opportunities to help make a difference in the world we all share. Get the children involved as they are the hope of the future.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtfully committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -- Margaret Mead
To staying young at heart,
Don Moore, Publisher