Friday, October 31, 2008

Some Friendships Last a Lifetime

“Some friendships last a lifetime. We just seem to be living a hell of a long time.”

This is the explanation offered by Helen, an 82-year-old grandmother who shares a blog with her best friend Margaret. Helen and Margaret met 60 years ago when they were in college, and they have kept in touch through marriages, children, grandchildren, and cross-country moves. Reading through the archives of posts and comments, a few things strike me:

1. Are you real? Many readers and commentors ask if the blog is really written by women in their 80s, somehow believing that this would not be possible. One of the reasons I love this blog is precisely because it is possible: Seniors are living independent lives of dignity and independence, and older adults do share a stake in important issues like the upcoming elections. The blog’s front page shows a picture of the two friends in their electric wheelchairs, touring a public space.

2. You remind me of my own grandmother! It seems plenty of readers miss the sassy wit of their own elder family members, and are all the more excited that Helen and Margaret’s stories and opinions will be recorded for the future. Not only have these two women witnessed great changes in the world, but they have been the ones to create change. They can teach us more than any history book ever could.

3. Keep on fighting. Helen and Margaret aren’t afraid to take a stand on issues that are important to them, while reminding readers that we vote not only for ourselves, but for our children and their children. In one recent post, Helen tells her readers this (and I couldn’t agree more):

“Folks, I’m tired and I don’t have another fight in me. It’s now or never. So to all of you I say this: Give your money. Give your time. Give your voice. Get up. Get out and do something. Anything. … Get out there and vote!”

-- by Jaclyn Barbarow
Grants and Database Administrator

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