Sunday, November 14, 2010

35,405 days and counting

I have a friend with a birthday today. She is turning 97 years old. She has been one of my dearest friends now for almost 10 years. She was my neighbor in college and I asked her to be my geriatric patient for a project in nursing school. It started out with a visit once a week to ask her medical history and ended up being a weekly afternoon date for tea. She is my adoptive great grandmother but really she's more of a friend.
It's funny I forget our age difference until she says something like "I remember when I used to be scared of cars, because I didn't know what one was" or "I used to take a ferry to school after walking 6 miles" or my favorite "I had the choice to take care of a lady's kids or get married to this gentleman who seemed pretty nice, so I married him."
It was just a different time. Women definitely did not have much of a choice in what they were going to do with their lives. They got married, had babies and took care of the house.

The next generation of women, my real grandmother's generation was truly the first generation to have a choice. To make a choice to also work. To have a career or take care of the house, or both.

I try to remember that women in the workplace is still a newer concept within the last 90 something years, which is a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of timelines.
I think we need to be reminded of this every once in awhile when there is the dilema of what we really want and what we are doing.

As for Ella Thomas, she has is the exact person I want to be at 97. She volunteered at the Red Cross for 25 years until just a year and a half ago. She had dozens of foster children come through her house over the years, in addition to raising three of her own.
She is caring but also rigid if she doesn't agree with what you are saying or doing.
She is true to her word and a really great friend. She has always lent her ear when I needed it.

So Happy Birthday Ella! She says she's shooting for 100:)

3 comments:

  1. Yes indeed Ella is someone to be admired. Perhaps she will again join us at Christmas time for High Tea at The Heath Hotel. She is a dear sweet lady. How lucky you are to have had such a close relationship with her. Reminds us all of that saying "you've come a long way baby".

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  2. Give her my best, as well! We have some choices to make to be the women we want to become... It is great to have role models.

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  3. Sending birthday wishes Ella's way...these mature lady friends are wonderful aren't they, I have one too!

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