I just finished visiting my folks at their winter home in Arizona. I'm very lucky to have both my parents still living.
As I get older, I realize what a treat it is to have them around. No longer the authority figures of my youth, they are now people, with hopes and dreams and many of the same worries I have.
Mom is 85 (I hope she doesn't mind me exposing her age). She's as youthful as ever, always moving, never really taking time to sit down. I guess having six kids created lifelong habits that are hard to break. She loves to gamble...video poker. Who would have guessed the person who could make a meal out of a bone would have ended up in a casino. Good for her.
Dad has been struggling with his health for the past few years. An incredibly alert and smart 88 year-old with opinions that are as strong as smelling salts, Dad refuses to give in to physical ailments that would have grounded most men long ago. Watching him get up from a chair is both painful to watch and rewarding for the courage it takes to never give in.
They lived through some of the most difficult times in our nation, and they survived. Those skills to do more with less are needed more than ever today. We, as a people, can learn a lot from my folks. I certainly have.