Tonight 2013 departs and 2014 takes over. All over the world people of every country and race are saying goodbye to the past, and looking for new and better promises of a new chance to begin again. Actually every new day is a new page and everything before is the past. But this is the big one, the once a year one. Tonight I’ve been thinking a lot about the past and the good and happy memories that built up to today.
I could say I’m an old woman and by the standards of those who aren’t there yet, that could be true. But in my heart I am still the little girl who ran though fields of wild oats, and would plop down hidden to others to watch the white puffy cloud roll across the blue skies and imagine what those clouds looked like- a puppy, a bird, a tree maybe. I am still the little girl who ran to meet her Daddy every night when he came home for being the school principal. I am still the little girl who watched her world change with world war 2 in a city with huge Navy and Marine bases. The girl who in the 5th grade had four teachers because the men got drafted and we had women substitutes. That same year we girls learned to knit in order to make squares for blankets for our servicemen. She watched the Japanese who had beautiful truck gardens in our community, taken away to internment camps, never to get their land back. And after the war, men in the service and women who came to work in factories so the men could go to war, liked our climate and moved out to the coast permanently.
I feel like the young woman who stood at the alter in a lovely white wedding gown, holding a white orchid on a white bible, saying, “I will” to her favorite young man who said the same. This was before many, many friends in the church in which she grew up.
Then again I remember the feeling of holding my babies when they were new, thanking God for them, and watching them grow up into fine adults for which we could be very proud. Later came the indescribable love for each new grand child, and still later the great grand children.
I am still the person who was the wife of a minister in National Mission Churches in the Midwest. Career opportunities came along in which I thrived as my same dear husband left the ministry for the War on Poverty, later becoming a state auditor in Iowa, and still later a comptroller for some large companies like Sears, Pepsi, Sunbeam, Silor Optical of Florida, and then retiring to Microsoft until he was 73. My jobs included Teaching in High Schools, and Junior High, Being Director of Daycare Nursery schools in three different cities, sales, and finally an employment counselor. I loved all of those jobs and enjoyed most of all, the wonderful people I got to know and work with: co-workers , parents, and clients.
I am indeed still the person who was working at jobs I loved and the memories are still a part of me today. But changes come with age and situations. Since we have retired we love to watch the wild birds and Hummers who enjoy our patio. I enjoyed quilting, but am now doing some knitting and then may try some crochet that my grandmother taught me. I am working on a book of family history for our children and future family members.
All of us older types are in the same boat. We are not just what we look like to strangers, but an accumulation of memories that define who we are today. We are slower. Some of us have health problems that show themselves as we age. But we are able to remember the good things in our lives. We are still alive: many didn’t get as far as we have, in age. We love and are loved. We have been blessed and especially if we can block out any less happy thoughts. And even for us, the new year, 2014, brings a clean page to add to our whole. But in our hearts, our love, our minds, we are still all of the things we were and our mind is does not feel what the mirror tells us. God bless you all and Happy New Year.