Blog Post #5

Blog Post #5

This Mother’s Day, May 8, was the first one in my lifetime without my sweet Mother who passed last June. It was more than a little weird and I thought of her a lot and talked to her in her spiritual form. However, it was also a sad day as she has been a part of my entire life. Adjusting to life without her is an ongoing process but many of us have lost parents in our lifetime and have learned how to cope at holiday time.

In thinking about my Mother I realize how fortunate we were to have had Mom with us all those years. (She was 99 when she passed.) It is also gratifying to know that my three brothers and the grandchildren honored my Mom throughout her life with visits and flowers and holiday visits. This is the main point of today’s blog.

How many people take their parents and grandparents for granted? How many people do not make the effort to tell their family members how much they love them and take the time to honor them? In many cultures grandparents and elderly are revered and honored on their own special holiday. “Respect for the Aged” is a national holiday in Japan held on the third Monday of every September. Since 1963 the Japanese government has given a silver sake cup to every citizen who reaches their 100th birthday. Ancient Rome, The Greeks, Native Americans, Koreans, Chinese and Indian cultures also honor the elderly and even refer to their aged loved ones as “elders.”

Maybe it is time for us to consider a more formal celebration of our elderly population as it continues to age. There are over 75 million baby boomers in the USA. While that is a significant number, there are also over 83 million Millennials in the US (born between 1982 and 2000). So much of pop culture in the US celebrates silly behavior like that of Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus while you hear very little about the 22 veterans who commit suicide every day in our country.

It is time for us to realize the tremendous amount of knowledge and experience that is housed in the bodies and minds of the aging population. While it seems unlikely that we will ever institute a national holiday that truly honors our elderly citizens, it seems appropriate that as we approach Father’s Day, we remember and consider our respect for our elderly citizens. After all, without them, there would be no younger generations. Sending a card or flowers on Mother’s Day is not enough. Remember to honor and respect the elders in your family. Your reward will not be measured in anything more than a gratifying smile and warm hugs, well worth your effort.

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