Dad and Rose were both in their 70s when they met and married and began their new life together. So I only really knew Rose as an older person. But as I learned to know this delightful lady I would often think, I want to grow old like Rose.
By observing Rose's life I've learned several keys to vibrant and joyful aging.
Can we all agree that being a mother of young children is exhausting? Especially if the dad has to be away for an extended period of time? That the saying "The days are long but the years are short" is a truth that stands the test of time? I present for evidence a letter written by my grandmother to my grandfather dated July 22, 1935. The children is question were my father (Harold) and my aunt (Maryann) who as long I have known them have been nothing but dignified and upright but were nevertheless quite a handful as they approached their fifth and third birthdays. And, of course, in 1935 their parents weren't Grandma and Grandpa but Esther and Abe, a young married couple.
"Happy the man who fondly thinks of his forebears,
Who likes to tell the willing listener the tale
Of their achievements and greatness, and is glad
To see himself a link in the beautiful chain."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1837)
What is it about looking at old family photos? Sometimes what you see is someone young who you only knew as old. Sometimes you recognize that the strong jaw, the doleful eyes, the distinctive nose on ancestors you never met are the same as what you see in the mirror or in the faces of your children. They have been gone a long time and yet some of their DNA courses through your veins.
Henry Miller, Joel Miller, newlyweds A.R. and Esther Miller Epp, Lydia Miller, Dora Traudt Miller Photo from 1929