The week at the beach was a mixing of four generations. While we were there it is nearly impossible to be still in all the commotion and appreciate this simple and valuable truth. There were the great-grand children age 6-21, the grand children ages 40-48, Mom and Dad (they prefer to keep their ages private) and Great Grandma 96. The life the great grandchildren are living now would have been unfathomable to great-grandma when she was a young girl. It never ceases to impress me how far humanity can grow with making possibilities become realities, year after year.
President Reagan said, ” Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we’ve ever known.”
I visited one of my favorite book stores today and picked up an odd book, “Obsolete” by Anna Jane Grossman. It’s an encyclopedia of once common things passing us by:
- answering machines
- ghetto blasters or boom boxes
- eating for pleasure (the practice of not obsessing about food)
- hotel keys
- pay phones
- manual car windows
I am certain Great Grandma can list a hundred more things they used when she was a girl that even the forty somethings wouldn’t recognize. This makes me wonder when I’m an old woman what will be the things our grandchildren will laugh at us for having used and adored? Will our ipods be a ridiculous idea to them? What better can they do to our computers? (besides make them work all the time with five bars of internet) What about the sort of miracles doctors will routinely perform that we can’t imagine now. If I allowed my mind to take flight with this fantasy I could find myself in a sort of neverland. So what I will do instead is greatly appreciate the life an elderly person has lived and the changes they have watched occur over the years. I won’t spend much time thinking about the future. Today has much to be thankful for and to enjoy right now. It feels good to actually BE where I am. But I do hope my kids stand on my shoulders and see possibilities beyond today. I hope they live with more grace and love and efficiency than I could ever imagine. I will be one joyful old lady if I can shake my head and marvel at all the wonderful new inventions my grandchildren and great grandchildren use with ease. Maybe they will help me stay current. I hope so.