Who Will Speak For The Elders…

When they can no longer speak for themselves ? is the beginning of a poem I’d written in honor of the many centurians I have worked with over the years… oftentimes writing down their stories. Elders have a story to tell and they want folks to just listen. When I began my nursing career many years ago I came to the conclusion after spending moments in time listening to the stories of my patients, many of whom were way up in age , in the midst of cleansing/dressing their wounds, assisting in feeding, or giving a morning bath: These people are wise beyond reason… Their words, their stories, their excitement while recounting the old days that had flown by, became the basis for my wanting to record their stories. Some are bittersweet, some funny and some downright heartbreaking.

There’s a certain patient I’m particularly fond of on my ‘day’ job & who at 100 years old is still wise,intellectual, and quite witty and who during periods of forgetulness often approach the staff to get their attention by rolling up in her wheelchair to call out,”hey lady!”, “nurse” or, “I’m talking to you!” & who continues to inspire me to listen & record the elder story. I often refer to this patient as the “Matriarch” which she finds quite funny but, graciously humbling. Whenever I introduce her(purposely) to other staff in this way she shakes her head of white hair, smiles modestly, and asks “Am I really?” …

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4 thoughts on “Who Will Speak For The Elders…”

  1. We will speak for the Elder; we the grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; the nieces/nephews and great-nieces/nephews; the cousins once, twice, three times removed; and yes, we, who now are becoming aged, but once, as children, eagerly sat on the damp grass of a summer’s eve, at the feet of our elderly neighbors and relations.

    Oh! The stories they told; the wisdom imparted! How our imaginations soared as the twinkling stars above us, as they repeated again and again the tales of their lives, and the generations before them. The drama, the joy, the rollicking throw your heads back, tears streaming down your face laughter of astonishing stories; and the quiet, gentle tears of poignant reminiscence that broke hearts, but not the silence of the night, for songs of the crickets still filed the air.

    Yes, we will tell the Elders stories to the children that sit on our laps or at our feet. We will pass along the wise old sayings, riddles, rhymes and yarns. And they will be wiser for them. Or so they will find in days to come.

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  2. Welcome Joie,

    And indeed we shall, as will our children & their children, so on through the generations. And the stories of the Elders will live on:)

    Clara.

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  3. God bless you for writing down those stories! It’s people like you who will keep them alive. I miss the days of sitting and listening to the stories. My own children grew up with video games and only one grandmother, as it turned out, and not a lot of stories.
    Maybe the reason I started my blog is to tell my stories? I just realized that now. Thanks you.

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  4. Thanks so much for visiting clara54 and commenting upon the stories of the elders. It’s pure joy to know & to have known the wisdom of these often, forgotten group of people…I’ve taken a brief stroll onto notesalongthepath & I’m liking your work very much! Will become a frequent visitor:)

    Clara.

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