Monday, July 6, 2009

Respect for senior women

One of the things that most helps seniors, is the respect given them by the documentation of their lives. Ageism is a terrible thing, that sets us all back.

What a treat to see this man gaily waving as we drove by. The trucks honked and we waved back. We were on a drive north to Wawa, Ontario.

I have found that autobiography is a very healing way to understand, and put into perspective, you life. It is hard, as one moves on down that weary road. You get to the point where you are tired. Your friends cannot visit, or are far away.

Onplaque our trip to Wawa, we found a beautiful way to honour the lives of seniors.

Grandmother Doors is a project by elementary students who research and laud their grandmothers. The doors are sprinkled throughout the city. I was so impressed.

These ladies were the first women to fly, or the first miners in Ontario.

This plaque was up in the store in the Voyageur Restaurant. The first founder, who managed in the days of yore, to build a store and make a living.

The research highly touts this kind of practice. Honour your loved ones. Celebrate their lives before they pass on.

The doors include information about the Grandma, written, usually, by a grandchild, sometimes written first person. They honour those who have lived through Concentration Camps, the first female miners in Ontario, those who lived in the bush with many children, and absent father who flew bush planes, while moms eked out a living, cooked, cleaned, chopped firewood and cared for their young far from society.

Women flew planes from factories to hangers during WW II, but were unable to fly for their country.

Women worked in munitions factories, but once the men came home, were forced to return to their kitchens and their stoves.

My friends in education, who retired in the late 90s, were forced to quit their jobs once they had children.

This affects senior women, their pensions, and their ability to meet their needs in their senior years.

What is amazing is that the newspaper articles were saved and presented on these doors. We did not have time to see all of them. Such a shame, but an honour. What a difference to the mental and physical health of senior women when their stories are told after their contributions to society have ceased.

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