The second matriarch who has been on my mind is a sister who is older than my mom... I was in foster care as a baby and bonded so much with the Pickards that we are still closely connected today. While my foster mother, Eddie, passed away in August '09, we are still ruled from the roost by Queen Cathy, her oldest daughter who is struggling in her seventh decade. I recently wrote a letter to her as I felt it was important to clear the air and apologize for any harsh words from our past.
The last older woman who has had a place in my heart since I was twenty-one is Clara Mae, my daughter's grandmother and a former mother-in-law who I adored. She is of the 'Old Order' which is similar to the Mennonites of horse and buggy fame. I was able to sit with her a final time in '08 when Laura got married and everyone came for the wedding. I am so grateful that I recognized that moment and told her how much I loved her and how much she meant to me.
It's important that we all do that in appreciation for each other. It's such a loving gesture to express our gratitude and listen to the stories of our elders. How will they be retold? From your perspective or theirs? Awareness is seeing the intention and not just reacting to the action. When looking at the world through their eyes, with their stories, hurts and fears it can be a little easier to forgive.
Maybe there is someone in your life that is in their last chapter and you would like their story to be told. I have it in my heart to talk to old people and write their story. I have been thinking of doing a gratitude tour through some of the nursing homes in San Diego. I would love to know what their words of wisdom and gratitude would be. Wouldn't you? Please let me know if you know someone that I could visit.