Mother: The female genes in our family are hale and hearty. The women in our family lived to mid to late 90’s and were relatively healthy right up to the end. These women were strong and resourceful more from need than anything else. I have every intention of following in their footsteps.
Our mother passed at the youngest age at 76; she was a heavy smoker and had COPD. But all of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers lived into their 90’s. For some reason, the women in our family married younger men then outlived them. The women in our family were widowed early.
Our mother used to laugh when she heard of women going to exercise class. She said between keeping the house, gardening and keeping up with us it was all the exercise she could stand. I should add that we were a family of women. My brother was the only male in the bunch. So hoeing, mowing, fixing the roof or fence fell to the women. Hiring someone to do the work was never thought of by them. And walking none of the women drove, so we either called a taxi or walked to the bus. The walk to the bus stop was about a half a mile downhill going, but coming back was uphill. Our one grandmother taught at our neighborhood school and she walked to and from it every day.
Keep the Mind Alert
No one in our family suffered from dementia or Alzheimers. In my opinion, it is because they kept their mind active. I can remember our great grandmother up in her 90’s sitting on the sofa in her living room reading the newspaper with her magnifying glass. She wore glasses, but she always used the magnifier. I think one of the reasons she couldn’t see out of her glasses was the way she cleaned them. She would rub them between her pointer finger and her thumb. Grandma’s glasses were covered in smears. The women in our family read they gardened, they cooked and canned, and they sewed. Their minds were always busy.
These women were involved in their churches, their circle meetings, and garden clubs. I can never remember hearing any of them complaining about being bored. I can remember when my one grandmother found she was the last surviving member of her college graduating class. She got a notice from the school, and her comment was I guess that is the end of our reunions. She was a retired school teacher and always enjoyed getting together with her other retired teacher friends.
Summing it Up
Our grandmothers left us with a strong legacy. I know that I grandparent different than they did but I do hope that I leave my grandchildren with the same sort of legacy. I want my granddaughters to know they come from good genes and that their grandmothers were strong independent women.
Till next time.
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