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Look At Your Hands! September 20, 2010

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JUST LOOK AT THE PICTURE BELOW FOR A MINUTE, AND THEN READ THE REST. IT WILL TOUCH YOU DEEPLY, AND IF NOT, THEN YOU MIGHT WANT TO DOUBLE-CHECK YOUR PULSE.

I was privileged to take a photo of”Five Generations of Women”shortly before my 93 year-old Grandmother passed away last year. The photo, shown below, features the hands of my Grandmother, Mom, Sister, Niece and Great-Niece. While I can’t take credit for the idea, I was so happy to have had the suggestion & capture this moment. It inspired a friend of mine to do something similar, which turned out so beautiful it became a special keepsake, prior to her father’s passing.

Grandma's Hands

Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn’t move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands.

When I sat down beside her she didn’t acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. “Yes, I’m fine, thank you for asking,” she said in a clear voice strong.

“I didn’t mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK,” I explained to her.

“Have you ever looked at your hands,” she asked.. “I mean really looked at your hands?”

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

Grandma smiled and related this story:

“Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.

“They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.

They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.

“They have been dirty, scraped and raw , swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.

They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.

“They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn’t understand.

They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.

“These hands are the mark of where I’ve been and the ruggedness of life.

But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ.”

I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my grandma’s hands and led her home.

When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband I think of grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.

Author Unknown

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I Hope You Dance… August 23, 2010

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This was written by an 83-year-old woman to her friend.

*The last line says it all. *

Dear Bertha,

I’m reading more and dusting less. I’m sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the  garden. I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time working.

Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I’m not “saving” anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom.

I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries. I’m not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.

“Someday” and “one of these days” are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now

I’m not sure what others would’ve done had they known they wouldn’t be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was.

I’m guessing; I’ll never know.

It’s those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn’t written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn’t tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them. I’m trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, tell myself that it is special.

Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.

“People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don’t need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there.”

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance

Send in YOUR Stories to Share in my upcoming book! July 19, 2009

Posted by Ageless Dreamer Foundation in Ageless Dreamer, Ageless Dreamers and Dreams, Inspirational Stories, Words of Wisdom.
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Lo and behold, all you ageless dreamers out there, THE BOOK is in process!  It’s stories about our oldest population who still remain living at home and are doing it successfully.  It’s OUR future so I figure if we can collect the secrets to their success in remaining independent we’ll all win in the end.  Please share your story of an elder parent, relative, neighbor, or friend.  And if you haven’t asked them if they have a dream maybe ask them today, listen close and open up their world and yours!   Quote for the day: Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you. [Marsha Norman]

George Carlin on Aging and Staying Young May 29, 2009

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IF YOU DON’T READ THIS TO THE VERY END, YOU HAVE LOST A DAY IN YOUR LIFE. AND WHEN YOU HAVE FINISHED, DO AS I AM DOING AND SEND IT ON.

George Carlin’s Views on Ageing

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Do you realise that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we’re kids? If you’re less than 10 years old, you’re so excited about ageing that you think in fractions.

‘How old are you?’ ‘I’m four and a half!’ You’re never thirty-six and a half. You’re four and a half, going on five! That’s the key

You get into your teens, now they can’t hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

‘How old are you?’ ‘I’m gonna be 16!’ You could be 13, but hey, you’re gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life …. . You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There’s no fun now, you’re Just a sour-dumpling. What’s wrong? What’s changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you’re PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it’s all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn’t think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You’ve built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it’s a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80’s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30 ; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn’t end there Into the 90s, you start going backwards; ‘I Was JUST 92.’

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. ‘I’m 100 and a half!’
May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

HOW TO STAY YOUNG

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay ‘them’

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’ And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love , whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER :
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

And if you don’t send this to at least 8 people – who cares? But do share this with someone. We all need to live life to its fullest each day!!
Carlin

“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. By 90 yr old Regina Brett May 22, 2009

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Hmmmm. If I could only pick one, I’d pick # 40.  Which would you pick?

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written.

” My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column I once more:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good..

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

 4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

 7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind. 1

7. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

 25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

 34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

 35. Don’t audit life.. Show up and make the most of it now.

6. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s,we’d grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come. 43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

Its estimated 93% won’t forward this. If you are one of the 7% who will, forward this with the title ‘7%’. I’m in the 7%.

Remember that I will always share my spoon with you!

Thank you to Ellie White [NH], Ageless Dreamer Member and Supporter for sending this along to us!

Written By a Crabby Old Man April 10, 2009

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I received this in an email today and felt the need to share it with you. 

CRABBY OLD MAN

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in North Platte , Nebraska , it was believed that he had nothing left of any value .

Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They found this poem . Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital .

One nurse took her copy to Missouri . The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health.   A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet

Crabby Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . What do you see?
What are you thinking . . . . when you’re looking at me?
A crabby old man, . . . not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . . with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food . .. . . . . and makes no reply .
When you say in a loud voice . .. . . .. ‘I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice . . . the things that you do .
And forever is losing .. . . . . . . . . . A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not . . . . . . . . . . . lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking?   Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse . . . .. . you’re not looking at me .

I’ll tell you who I am . As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, . . . . . .. as I eat at your will .
I’m a small child of Ten . . . . . .. . with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters . . . . . . . . who love one another

A young boy of Sixteen . . with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . . . .. . . a lover he’ll meet .
A groom soon at Twenty . my heart gives a leap ..
Remembering, the vows . . . . . . that I promised to keep .

At Twenty-Five, now . . . . . … . . . . I have young of my own .
Who need me to guide . . . . And a secure happy home .
A man of Thirty .. . . . . . . . .. My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . . . . . . With ties that should last .

At Forty, my young sons .. . have grown and are gone,
But my woman’s beside me . . . .. . . . to see I don’t mourn .
At Fi fty, once more, . Babies play ‘ round my knee,
Again, we know children . . .. . . . . My loved one and me .

Dark days are upon me . . My wife is now dead .
I look at the future … . . . . . . . . . . . . . I shudder with dread .
For my young are all rearing . . . . . . young of their own ..
And I think of the years . . .. . . . . And the love that I’ve known ..

I’m now an old man . . . . . . . . . and nature is cruel .
Tis jest to make old age . look like a fool ..
The body, it crumbles . . . . … . .. . . . grace and vigor, depart .
There is now a stone . . . . . .. . where I once had a heart .

But inside this old carcass . . A young guy still dwells,
And now and again . . . .. . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . . .. . . . . . I remember the pain …
And I’m loving and living . . . . .. .. . . . . . . . life over again .

I think of the years . all too few . . . . . . gone too fast ..
And accept the stark fact . . . . . . . . that nothing can last .
So open your eyes, people .. .. . . . . . open and see..
Not a crabby old man .   Look closer . .. . see . . . .. .. . . . ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within . . . .. … we will all, one day, be there