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Taking Inspiration from the Familia

My dad has been a source of guidance and inspiration for me. He has always been there for me, in good times and bad. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day encourages people to appreciate the people in their lives that are there for them through thick and thin.
Whenever there is a holiday, my dad’s side of the family gets together for a barbecue. It gives us a reason to stay in touch and keep up our relationships with each other.
Who I really started looking at though was my grandmother. She’s the one in the picture. My grandmother is 90 years old. She still shovels the snow in the winter. She gardens. She doesn’t use a cane. She does have aches and pains from arthritis and the like but that doesn’t stop her.
Right now my grandmother on my mom’s side is not doing well. She is 88, two years younger than my dad’s mom. She lost the strength in her lower body and was not able to be independent in her home due to her limitations. She is being moved on Monday to a long term care facility. This is devastating to me and it got me thinking about healthy aging.
Comparing my grandmother’s they lived very different lifestyles. My dad’s mom is the Energizer bunny. She doesn’t stop. Sometimes my uncles tell her to slow down and that she doesn’t need to do everything or they can get someone else to do it.
But my question is … why?

If as you get older, you maintain your strength and have the ability to do your tasks around the house safely. I say ROCK ON!
Maintaining independence as we get older is so important to our sense of self and I’m so proud of my grandmother for being able to do all of these tasks on her own. She asks for help if she needs it. But if she doesn’t need it she doesn’t ask.
I think we are too quick to place a disability or inability label on a person just because they are older. We are living longer than ever and with that becomes some knowledge into what constitutes successful aging. Having a sense of identity and being able to stay in your home are two HUGE aspects of our being. I would hate having to wait for other people to do things for me all the time. Especially if I was the person who had previously been taking care of them.
So this Sunday, my grandmother rocked high heels and a skirt. She made amazing homemade perogies and she sipped on a margarita with me (don’t worry – neither of us were driving!). I think all of that is AWESOME!
Just my ramblings,
Christina

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