Left: My big sister, June in 1947.
I received an email from my friend Shirley regarding a new anthology planned by a man named John Curtis. He has the idea of having "elders" like me write about what we think young people might gain from our generation. I plan to be on a conference call tomorrow night to learn more about this book.
It hurts sometimes to see young folk fumble and fall into situations which could have been avoided if they had turned to someone who had experience with similar problems in life. And it is hard for older people to give advice unless they are asked. No one wants to "stick her nose" into someone's business unless asked.
I am thankful I had my sister June to go to when I needed advice. I also had my mother. My problem was I didn't always listen and I was not convinced they understood my problems when I was a teen.
But as I grew older, I learned to listen to the wise advice of my older siblings and my parents. I learned from my mother-in-law.
How sad it must be to have no one to go to when you have a heavy decision to make.
That is why family is important. Even when family drives us nuts, we always know we have each other and when the chips are down, we will be there to lean on. I miss my brother Ray's sage financial advice. I could always call him when I had a question. His was a true Horatio Alger story, from rags to riches, and I valued his ideas. My brother Hal gave us good advice when we were newlyweds. And Rex still advises me on investments. He willingly shares his successes.
What would I do without my biggest supporter, my sister Gay? Although younger than I, she is wise and wonderful.
The ability to listen and consider the opinions or ideas of others doesn't come easily sometimes. Clinging stubbornly to the wrong way in order to protect our egos can be a heart-breaking path. "I've always done it this way, and I'm not going to change." This attitude can be costly and painful. When I took the position of leader of our writers group it was difficult to go against a former leader's argument of how "it was done in the past."
But after I took a close look at where we were and the changes that had come about in the past ten years, I used what I had learned from her and others involved and put my own ideas into the mix to build an even better literary group for all our members.
We can all learn from others - either what to do or what not to do - by listening or observing, and we can pass on what we have learned in our life stories, in anthologies and poems. If you haven't begun writing about your life, don't wait another day.