A Grandparent’s Voice


It rolls around every year. Just shows up like Christmas or Thanksgiving. It’s not on your calendar. At least not the way it is on mine. Some people hate the day. Some people ignore the day. Some others grab hold of it and work it from dawn to midnight. I personally embrace the day. What a wonderful day. What a glorious, wonderful day.

I am on the countdown to my birthday. As usual, it gives me time to look back over the years and remember birthday parties and other celebrations. Oh, wait, we didn’t have birthday parties. I only remember one celebrated when I was about ten. According to my sister June, that was the only party any of the Loxley girls got to enjoy with friends and cake. Dickie Neff, Larry Spitler, Donna Puterbaugh, Vivian Force, Brenda Stager, Mary Martindale, Marilyn Unger and a few more kids were on hand to watch me turn 10. I don’t really remember it well, but I have pictures to prove that it did take place. As I aged, my family remembered me on my special days. Dinner out, presents bought by Daddy, cards colored by children were very special celebrations. Yesterday James, Lisa and the twins took me on a picnic. Now, that’s a party!

I am in good company in this being born in 1947. Here are just a few famous people who are aging on my same age plan: Susan Sarandon, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Dreyfuss, Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, Ted Danson, David Bowie, Rob Reiner, Cindy Williams, Jane Curtin, Meat Loaf, David Letterman and Stephen King. I think we all look pretty good for our ages. I am blessed to be poor enough to not have a face lift. My upper lip still moves when I talk. My hair is grey, and I love it. My figure is less than perfect, but this old body has delivered two beautiful children and has had a good journey with me. All in all, I think I’ve aged well.

There is a misnomer about aging. The overall attitude is that older people are stuck in the past and their knowledge is obsolete. Uh, uh. The older you get the more you learn. Knowledge adds up like new words in a dictionary. We add and add over the years tossing out what is outdated and ridiculous. We relish the opportunity to learn more and to be wiser. We understand the thrill of learning, changing, growing in wisdom. I think that years of age should be tossed aside. We are all on the same path to become the most we can be at all ages.

Grandparents in this day and age are much different than those in the time of my parents. We are active. We live longer. We have more opportunities to reach out in this world and make a difference. We have seen wars. We have seen what prejudice can do to humanity. We expanded our knowledge and stepped away from old beliefs into knew understanding. We went from lack of TV to computers. We went from the old gas guzzling sedans to the environmentally smart car. No longer do we bury and burn trash. We recycle and cherish this earth we live on knowing that resources are not all renewable. We are those who say yes to change. We are not old.

A baby was born on June 16, 1947. She had blond curly hair and chubby cheeks. She grew into a little girl who observed all and became a teenager who questioned. Later she became mother and then grandmother. She hit the wall many times, learning to pick herself up and learn from her mistakes. With a mind full of words, she became a writer, hoping to reach out and make the understanding of one another a little bit better.

My birthday is marked on my calendar. I’m not sure why. I know it’s my birthday. You don’t have it on yours, and I don’t have yours on mine, but I love sharing this journey of life with you.

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