Wisdom Speaks Even from the Grave

Lee Hansen By Lee Hansen, 15th Sep 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Elderly Relatives

There is so much wisdom that we can glean from our older relatives and friends. Take the time to hear their stories. They will stay with you for a lifetime.

A Sweet Memory

While I was sitting at the hair salon earlier this week, a sweet memory interrupted my thoughts. Kimberly, the hair dresser's almost three-year-old daughter was enjoying the taste of a bright yellow banana.

Sitting at the Feet of the Elderly

My mind was taken aback to a lady that attended our local church when I was a youngster. Everyone lovingly called her, Sister Berry. She lived two houses down from us and was a family friend. Sister Berry was a housekeeper.

For some unknown reason she took a special liking to one of my older sisters named Gina. Every day after work, Sister Berry would bring a banana to Gina. It would be graciously received with a smile. Then she would spend time talking with my mother. She never stayed very long. After she left, Gina would throw the banana away. Gina never liked bananas and to this day she doesn't eat them.

No More Bananas?

Eventually Gina went off to college out of town. The umbrella of affection was now showered on my remaining siblings and me still living at home. One thing had changed though. She no longer had a banana when she came by after work. Perhaps that was something reserved just for Gina. We soon heard stories of Sister Berry's life.

Sister Berry would spent time with the young people at church. We would laugh at the funny things she would say. But we all loved her.

A Sermon Before Marriage

When we all got engaged, Sister Berry would spend time meeting our potential spouses. She had an uncanny ability to give her opinion even when you didn't ask. Her voice would sometimes crack but her message always came out loud and clear. She expected them to treat us with respect and love. When we all moved away from home and returned for visits, Sister Berry insisted that we stop by to see her. There was always a nugget of wisdom that she shared with us.

Life and Death

She was an avid walker. Her life was a full one. For as long as I knew her, she was a widow. While most people her age would shy away from having major surgery, that was not the case with her. When she was 89, she had a pacemaker put in.

Sister Berry passed away a few years ago at the age of 100. As my father likes to say, "Anyone his or Sister Berry's age would not be accused of dying from a “premature death". Dad is nearly 94.

Baby Boomer

As a baby boomer, I find myself looking back on stories told from Mrs. Berry's era and others born during that time period. It is interesting how the lessons learned way back then, still impact your life today.

Everybody should have a Sister Berry in their lives. I feel blessed and wiser because of it.


Credit: Pictures by Lee Hansen and Wikimedia Commons

Tags

Baby Boomer, Banana, Elderly, Grave, Memories, Older Friends, Senior Citizens, Wisdom, Wise

Meet the author

author avatar Lee Hansen
As a breast cancer survivor I have learned to take time to smell the roses in life. I love sharing my passion of reading to children. My pages will be on various topics.

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Comments

author avatar Phyl Campbell
16th Sep 2014 (#)

It's amazing what things hit you. Grandmother's been dead just over a year, and there are mornings I wake up having the most realistic dreams about things we talked about or just wild things that are very unlikely to happen. Our memories are funny things, but I'm glad to have them.

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author avatar Lee Hansen
16th Sep 2014 (#)

Phyl it's those memories that keep making us push on when life is sometimes exceptionally hard. I am sure you are glad to have memories of your recently departed grandmother.

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author avatar Mariah
16th Sep 2014 (#)

I agree with you totally Lee, those memories are carved in our hearts and our minds forever, and we can always call upon them when life is hard, we can look to our departed loved ones for guidance in using the memory of their wisdom and strength of character in asking ourselves 'what would they advise if they were here to talk to' we often find comfort and the path forward by doing this, lovely post Lee.

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author avatar Lee Hansen
16th Sep 2014 (#)

Thank you Mariah. We would all do well in taking your wise counsel.

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author avatar writestuff
16th Sep 2014 (#)

Memory of loved ones is indeed a blessed gift. Enjoyed this post.

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author avatar Lee Hansen
16th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks writestuff. Memories are special treasures that are always close to the heart. I am so grateful for them.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
16th Sep 2014 (#)

Uplifting post, Lee. Most young are mollycoddled in Asia with children less in each family - one or two is the norm. That makes them fragile, unable to take reverses. I remember the earlier generations had tough cookies but with a soft heart having seen life in extremes and able to weather the times. Ladies were the backbone in families able to put food on the table from nothing. Yes, they had wisdom and the young will do well to listen to them by removing the ear plugs that tend to overpower them! siva

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author avatar Lee Hansen
16th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks Siva. Older people who have experienced life in all its glory and pain have a wonderful story to share. But we have to be willing to listen to hear. Sadly that does not often happen in today's fast-paced world.

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author avatar Sherri Granato
16th Sep 2014 (#)

Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit." ~ Elbert Hubbard

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author avatar Sherri Granato
16th Sep 2014 (#)

Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit." ~ Elbert Hubbard

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author avatar Lee Hansen
16th Sep 2014 (#)

Sherri it seems like Elbert is on to something.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
24th Sep 2014 (#)

wonderful and rich with true meaning...thanks for this powerful share Lee...

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author avatar Kingwell
12th Nov 2014 (#)

My father went blind when I was just ten years old and being the youngest of a big family I spent a lot of time with him. Many nights during my teenage years were spent soaking up is wisdom. He had been an avid reader and now I often read for him. He was always grateful and I enjoyed reading to him. As you can imagine he had a great impact on my life. Today at 75, I still enjoy these memories and know that we will meet again some day. Thank you for posting this as it touched me deeply. Blessings.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
1st Dec 2014 (#)

Congratulations! You were selected Author of the Day!

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