With retirement, I really looked forward to taking some time and learning from my mother. Life got busy, days filled up and then in the middle of those last years, my mother had a stroke and I got the chance to move in with her and help her recover, a couple of times. She didn't lose mobility, but got aphasia a condition where the brain doesn't always let your voice say what you think you want to say. We had wonderful years together, some helping her regain the ability to read again, but all those years and all that time, those old clothes got cut up and strips sown together into balls for the great rag rug teaching session.
I remember it clearly. We sat down together, I was so excited but she had forgotten how to do it. I still have the balls of strips and the crochet hooks and places in my house that long to have rugs lain down to walk across.
One of my take a-ways from the Lay Health Advisor Training was to acknowledge we should lower exposure to lead not just for children aged 6 and younger, but for all of us. Lead has long lasting effects for adults with serious health conditions that show up decades later. As adults we carry the lead we have had throughout our lifetime stored tightly in our bones. With aging some of that stored lead is released as we lose calcium in our bones and it enters our blood. Lead at any level is a poison and we should avoid any additional exposure, all of us.
This week Dr. Shirley Chesnut explained to the Lay Health Leaders things we can do to live a healthier life downwind and downstream from the largest Superfund site in the country. Among of the things she listed besides the expected ones like getting the sleep you require, eating healthy foods, getting exercise was pursue something you long to do.
And there it came together, a class with Mary Daugherty, to learn how to crochet. We are starting with yarn and then... balls of cloth cut into strips that long to be a rug under my feet.
It will make me happy and happy makes me healthier. You can find what makes you happy. Find what you have longed to do. Try what Shirley suggested find what gives your spirit passion. Be mindful.
Meeting young people and finding out what they believe in and how they think about the world in which we live has been an important part of my life. They are young and busy and not wanting to intrude, times pass and opportunities with them.
The 92 year old poet didn't pass up this chance. Kimberly Barker and Gladys Keeton share poetry and time and built a relationship. While Kimberly was a news reporter for the Miami NewsRecord, she set a perfect example of how to nest in a new place, build relationships and practice your passion, hers is writing. She came as a rookie at the paper and leaves our community enriched for having known her, but with the enhanced writing skills for her career.
Simple joys and shared time.
Let's have more. My focus is on that rag rug, making it happen. According to the Longevity Project, "it was the most prudent and persistent individuals who stayed healthiest and lived the longest" while "the clearest health benefit of social relationships comes from being involved with and helping others."
Having time with former students and the opportunity to walk back into a few classrooms, the other focus will continue being environmental awareness as my means to help others.
Respectfully Submitted ~ Rebecca Jim