“Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.” Proverbs 16:31
I love the story my sister tells of her then four year old granddaughter. She said her granddaughter was combing her hair (as she was a “client”), and stated, “Grandma, I just love your hair. You have so many sparkles!”
So lovely. Sparkles. And, I’m sure if each strand could talk, each would have a story to tell as to the wisdom gained resulting in that strand’s “sparkle.”
I met some lovely women this past weekend who allowed me to sit at their feet and bask in their glory. Some family friends of ours were visiting Texas for their family reunion and invited us to join. No one was related to me by blood, but you couldn’t tell. We were welcomed and embraced during the gathering.
I noticed a group of women sitting together at their own table just observing. I inquired about them and discovered they were the matriarchs of the family with none of them younger than 80 years old. Before I could make my way over to talk to them, the eldest of the group (she was 102) left, but another woman arrived who joined the group. I knew they each had a fascinating story to tell, and decided to go ask if they would mind sharing their stories with me.
Of the four remaining women, two were sisters, two were best friends, and three were cousins. The best friends, Margaret and Esther (both 90), had not seen one another since they graduated from high school on June 6, 1944! The blog picture is of them catching up before I interrupted. 🙂
Boy did they have great stories to tell! I learned about the change in their lives once the white women they once worked for had to go back to work themselves during World War II and how they were negatively treated as a result of that. I learned about one being run over by a car, what the railroad did economically for their families, high school stories, their marriages, children, grandchildren, their travels, the death of their spouses, their lives now, and many more things they had lived through and experienced over the course of their lives.
And, I was fascinated! I so loved being transported back through the past and catapulted back to the future with great stops of history along the way. These beautiful women sitting at the table behind me opened up to me their world of love, loss, memories, triumph, pain, joy, “feistyness”, and laughter because I, a stranger, simply asked, “Can I talk to you?”
At the beginning of the week, I tweeted a challenge of spending time with an elderly person. I stated you would learn a lot, and they would enjoy the company. If you didn’t see my tweet, I hope you take the challenge now. There’s such a wealth of knowledge, history, understanding, and wisdom bottled up in their memories waiting to be released if one would simply…ask.