I've been re-reading my blogs about my Mother written those years she was with us before she died. Then today a friend came by and talked about her Mother who is experiencing the early part of dementia. My mother taught me a lot, as she has always done, about this path of life. She was not the example I wanted to follow through adulthood, but she is the person whose words and action throughout my childhood, and now, as I am 66 because she and the woman, Granny, who mothered me from the time I was 40 until her death, taught me how to age.
Let me begin by saying, it is not easy to grow old in this country during these times, just as it is not easy to be born and grow up here. This is not the times or the country to be vulnerable, to be participant in a society where individualism, materialism, hierarchy and the size of the paycheck measures a person's worth and where stress is the norm and silence is judged as non-productive. The whole idea of a productive human being already tells the story.
I have found that aging feels as awkward as entering into adolescence. The body, the mind, the feelings are going through a change. Hopefully, I have learned some grace about the change so that I can enter this stage more gracefully and with my head up than I did as a teen.
My environment is also going through the same sort of upheaval of my youth. Everything I believed amounted to a house of cards. The direness of our future was revealed. Here I am at 66, and damn if it weren't all true. Some people call it political -- but the political has become my reality. Since Will and I are Winnemem we are, as the Chief says, the canary along with the salmon, the water, and our belief system. Before others, being at the bottom of the social ladder, we are already experiencing what all others who are steps above will be experiencing.
I hope I have some time to write this blog. I know re-reading my blog about my Mother gave me a perspective which I did not experience while going through the life I recorded. I would not want my thoughts of entering my sixties to be lost to my eighty year old self. My friend Carmen told me to write a letter to my 80 year old self. I think it's time for another one.
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