There’s an old saying that goes, “We are here for three score years and ten” – meaning the average lifespan then was 70 years old. Anything after 70 was a bonus. Humans were never expected to live beyond then.
Never mind 70 years old. I remember my Ma when she was 40 years old. She was wearing unsexy Clark sandals and shapeless floral smock, settled comfortably into old age. I thought 40 was ever so old and prayed that I never lived to be older than that.
Now, I am 8 years older than the mental picture I have of my Ma when she was 40. I work very hard to bring down my biological age through a dedicated physical exercise programme, good nutrition and looking after my internal environment. My Ma never had that ‘selfishness’. Her whole life was about her family, first of all, us children and then grandchildren. She didn’t have any hobbies or that many friends. Everything she had, she invested in her kids and grandkids.
Today, she has seven grandchildren – five from me and two from my brother. She loves them so very much. They are her whole life. And though she would never admit to it, she has a very soft spot for her three granddaughters – seen here clowning around.
In a moment of blinding clarity, my older brother said, “Those children of ours love our Ma so much better than we ever did.”
OMG, such truth! We had hurt my Ma with our unkindness, harshness, thoughtlessness, busy-ness, but never those children. They love their grandmother to the highest.
My Ma’s investment in the family had paid off handsomely and she is claiming big dividends at 80 years old, happier than she had ever been. I used to think, what a sad life, only family and nothing else. Now, seeing how full her life is and how loved she is, I feel thankful that I had followed her path and spent 30 years of my life raising children and building a family home.
Sure, I could have put more into my career, made more money, had a more exciting life, but what would I have to show at my three score years and ten? And those damned years whizz by so quickly!!!!