Today is my Grandpa's 80th birthday. When I think about all the changes that have happened in my lifetime thus far (almost 36 years) I'm amazed. I can't even begin to imagine what it was like to grow up in a time where indoor plumbing was new in some places, families had to make do with only one car, all of your information about the world came through newspapers or the radio, and computers were not even a part of the equation. But in the last 80 years, my Grandpa has see all of that and so much more.
In High School, our history teacher gave us an assignment that we were supposed to take the list of questions that he provided and use them to interview someone over the age of 70. Then we were to write a report. I chose to interview a wonderful woman who was apart of our church named Lois Blanchard Eades. She had been a teacher for many many years and was a published author of both books and poetry (Remember the poem, "If Jesus Came To Your House"). She was just a fabulous person with a sparkling personality and spunk to spare. I remember sitting in her living room and listening to her answer all my questions. Some of which I had thought were rather silly...until she answered them. For example, one of the questions was, "When was the first time you rode in a car?" Her response was something to the effect that they had a car in her family so she'd ridden in it when she was a small child. I was blown away by her answer simply because in my lifetime...everyone has always had a car...but in her lifetime, that was not the case for everyone. She paitiently answered all my questions. Even the tougher ones...like had she lost anyone in World War II. She had, and she told me about it and even though so many years had passed, it was still fresh in her mind. That assignment was probably the most memorable of my life and the one I am the most grateful I was able to do. Lois went on to be with the Lord last year, but I have some wonderful memories of that amazing woman due, in part, to that history assignment. Thank you Coach Burgess for assigning it.
Over Christmas, my brother, my two cousins and I went to visit our Grandpa and while we were there he got out old pictures and began telling us about his life as a child. Then when my brother and I returned with our Dad, Grandpa once again began sharing about the past. We got to learn about our family in ways that we hadn't before. It was a blessing.
Over the years, I have been blessed to meet, get to know and spend time with many Senior Adults and I am so glad. They inspire me in so many ways. They have so much to share with us because they have seen, been apart of, and been through so much in thier lifetimes that they would love to share...if only we will ask.
Days like today remind me not to miss opportunities to learn from those who have gone before me. I can learn so much from them.
Happy 80th Birthday Grandpa. I love you!