xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Silver Threads August 1997 oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox Silver Threads is a production of The Senior Group, an informal group of older netizens. Silver Threads has a World Wide Web edition located at http://www.winnipeg.freenet.mb.ca/sthreads Editor is Jim Olson email@example.com Webmaster is Tom Kyle firstname.lastname@example.org ********************************************** Contents Editorial Bits and Bytes Features Caught in the Web (WWW that is) The Cup of Memory Senior Smiles xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox Editorial Bits and Bytes xoooxoxoxxxxxxxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Becasuse of the length of our feature story this issue there will be no editorial bits and bytes oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Features xoooxoxoxxxxxxxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Families in Transition- a Variety of Views -Jim Olson email@example.com Aging happens. It happens to all at all levels of family life from the newborn great or great-great or first grandchild to the oldest family member, and each year brings changes in family realtionships. Some are marked by visible transition points along the way such as the changing of the guard in the hosting of the Family Holiday celebration; Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner, Seder, Potlatch - whatever. At some point a change occurs for one reason or another. Others may be more subtle. The following essay from Nerdnosh Listserv develops the thesis that mothers and daughters gradually change their relationships to each other in subtle ways over a period of time effecting a kind of role reversal To explore this thesis further I sent copies of the unabriged article (I've cut it considerably here to save space) to a number of our readers and asked for responses. The response was overwhelming and I can only include excerpts from a few here. Wherever possible I have included the name and e-mail of the repondent. The Scales - by Cynthia MacGregor CynMacG@aol.com from the NerdNosh listserv When we're little, our mommies protect us. They watch over us, guide us, make sure we're eating right, taking care of ourselves, not taking undue risks . . . with their two pairs of eyes (including the ones in the backs of their heads) and with mouths that never fail to ask questions, they mother us and guard us and guide us. As we get older, most moms begin to gradually relax their vigilance. They hope they've instilled good practices in us, from nutrition to morals. Visits or phone calls might still occasion questions as to whether we're getting enough sleep, eating enough veggies, checking our tires for proper tread, and paying attention to whatever the warnings du jour are in the news. But the main part of Mom's job is over--the construction is complete; there remains only maintenance. The years go by. The guidance grows gentler. Mom trusts us to eat right, to get our checkups, to live safely. Slowly the scale, long tipped weightily in one direction, begins to equalize. Not all the guidance, the questions, the newspaper clippings, the worries are flowing one way. Now we begin asking Mom questions. Health questions. Safety questions. The scale comes closer to dead-even. The end up in the air is sinking ever lower. The end that used to be on the ground is rising ever higher into the air. It's a privilege to sit at the lunch table with your mother as co-equals. It's a pleasure to speak on an even keel, to know you're accepted as an intelligent adult. And it's scary. And then, one day, you realize the scale has reached dead-equal. It balances exactly. That's the point I'm at now. My mom, at 81, is as sharp mentally as ever. And her body is still functioning pretty darned well too. But it has its areas of concern. Certain words have become more a part of my vocabulary than I'd like. Angina. Osteoporosis. Arthritis. I'll stop at three, though the actual list is longer. This year, my mom and stepdad are forgoing their annual drive to North Carolina--permanently. They've decided those days are behind them. Forever. The scales are starting to look threatening. One day soon--next year? next month? next week? tomorrow?--the scales will start to tip the other way. I will begin worrying about my mother more than she worries about me, to look after her more than she looks after me, to take care of her more than she takes care of me, to be ever more vigilant, as she was in my younger days. I don't want to be stronger, better, brighter, more capable, more coping than my strong, good, bright, capable, coping mother. And I realize it's not only out of a sense of respect. I realize it's not just out of not wanting to best her at anything meaningful. It's that, quite simply, I want my mommy. ___________ editors note- to see more of the work of this author or others archived in nerdnosh attic go to http://www.netins.net/showcase/nerdnosh/ click on the fireplace log to enter archives and search for the author you wish. ++++++++++++++ When my daughter was born I remember another woman giving birth yelling "I want my mama!" At the time I didn't get it. Through the years the urgency and primal need in that voice have haunted me as I increasingly come to understand that most essential of needs expressed by the plea-- "I want my mommy." Luanna Smith, MSW Intern +++++++++++++++++++ From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Eunice Richter) I'm assuming you asked for my input because you know I am 81 and have a daughter. In our case we may be at the equal footing stage some of the time, but most of the time I am still trying in a very low key way, to influence her to take better care of herself. And that is happening. Only in the asking of how I'm doing has the "Child" become the "Mother" in our relationship, but that certainly happens sooner or later in all healthy Mother-Daughter relationships. I'm still telling her about the latest in "health news" because I know she is so involved in so many things that I am more apt to have heard it first. Our children have always been very strong-willed (guess they inherited it) and they have been making all their own decisions for a very long time. It is interesting to note, however, that the older they get the more like us they become. My daughter is more apt to ask my opinion now than she was twenty years ago, but guess that is probably typical. ++++++++++++ From: Susan Pirkle @yhc.edu Yes, folks do deal with the mother/daughter reversal roles. Several years ago, my mother developed ovarian cancer, after other medical problems as well. Our role was definitely reversed...giving advice, taking her to the doctor, translating what he said, etc. etc. etc. She died from her cancer, hard for me to take...felt like I should have had a "cure" for her. Had to do the same for my father as he lived a year beyond her. It's pretty powerful to realize that the roles have reversed...humbling to say the least. Peace, Susan ++++++++++ From: Lotte Evans Jim, I have printed out the article re this topic and showed it to my daughters and we had a rather spirited discussion about it. My daughters are adults, varying in age from 31-39 years with children of their own and none of them are of the opinion that the scales will ever tip the way as the person who wrote the article believes. They think that old age is further growth, a natural progression which unless the old person is mentally incapacitated does not lead to a time were it would be necessary to assume that one must parent ones parent. They believe that 'evening the scales' by giving and receiving advise is a natural progression throughout adulthood. And that's what we all are after childhood, adults til the day we die. I realise that the person who wrote the article might think well its easy for me to say so at this stage in my life. My mother died at age 86 and physically she was rather feeble but she would have felt deeply insulted if any of her six children would treated her as a person who needed parenting. +++++++++ From: Barbara Boylan I have been through this experience both personally and professionally. My ministry to the elderly probably stems from my younger years and the older women in my family and how their lives came to an end. If a daughter has never been close to anyone who has experienced this type of trauma, then it is certainly devastating and horribly frustrating. Some women are incapable of swapping roles with their own mother. It would take strong self esteem to even attempt such a reversal in life. It may come naturally to other women. If a daughter has become a mom in her own lifetime, it would be easier to fit into this position. If not, there may not be any "motherly" instincts, at least naturally. However, the transformation is a traumatic one, and closure is almost impossible with mother still alive. It feels like a death without society's permission to mourn, therefore, guilt is an ongoing problem. Your interest in this specific area is wonderful. Good luck with your outcomes. Barbara Boylan +++++++ From: Rosaleen The girl is crazy. Actually, her problems are several. First it bothers her to think she's getting too old to be "mothered" anymore. In other words she hasn't adjusted to the natural flow of years. It's not her mother's aging that has her worried, it's her own. Anyone who is as obsessed with diet and disease as she is will never understand anything about getting old. If sitting down with her mother to talk must be limited to cholesterol and arthritis, something serious is missing in their relationship. I have three daughters, and I was one of three daughters. When we sit down for lunch we talk about our activities, our friends, the world, our work, our play - whatever - even politics, religion and sex, but we sure don't check up on each others eating habits or medical histories. What a boring life! All those numbers from the doctor and blood tests what for? And who cares? In my family we never discuss medical things unless someone is sick and then we don't ask questions, we just bring chicken soup. I have six children and my job will be done when I die. That doesn't mean I still look after them, it just means that when they need someone to lean on, literally, figuratively, spiritually, financially, imaginatively, or they're looking for a word for womething they are writing .. etc... I'm here. And they are there for me. I've been enjoying my children on a level plane ever since they could talk - and still do. No, I don't think there's a teeter totter relationship that gets reversed. There's a mother and a daughter relationship that never changes and if you just act in a normal intelligent and friendly way towards your daughter she should be able to do the same towards you and still be your daughter all your life, and you will still be her mother - xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox Caught in the Web With Lotte xoooxoxoxxxxxxxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Mail Lists I thought instead a surf around the net it might make a nice change to write about some of the discussion groups on the internet e-mail lists. At the last count there were some 5000 groups looking for members to air their opinion on a topic dear to their hearts. So here is a list of groups one can join by following the instruction below: To subscribe, send mail to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.NET LOCATION with the following command in the text (not the subject) of your message: SUBSCRIBE listname Replace 'listname' with the name in the first column of the table below. For example send to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.TAMU.EDU with the command subscribe BUTTERFLY-L in the body of your e-mail to subscribe to the first list shown here. Do not put anything else (including signature line) in the message. ********************************************************************** BUTTERFLY-L BUTTERFLY@LISTSERV.TAMU.EDU Photography forum CRAFTY-L CRAFTY-L@LISTSERV.AOL.COM Craft Corner e:mail list WISHFORD WISHFORD@URIACC.URI.EDU Crafts, Recreation, Historical Methods List GARDENS GARDENS@LSV.UKY.EDU Gardens & Gardening EAT-L EAT-L@LISTSERV.VT.EDU Foodlore/Recipe Exchange FOODWINE FOODWINE@CMUVM.CSV.CMICH.EDU Discussion List for Food and Wine VEGFOOD VEGFOOD@CADSERV.CADLAB.VT.EDU Vegetarian Foodlore/Recipe Exchange CANARY CANARY@IDBSU.IDBSU.EDU CANARY - For Canary Breeders and Hobbyists HGA-L HGA-L@ULKYVM.LOUISVILLE.EDU Discussion list for Hobby Greenhouses MORRIS MORRIS@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU Morris Dancing Discussion List SOONH-DRL LISTSERV@HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM Primarily for anyone who wants to plan to StayOut Of Nursing Homes --------------------------------------------------------------- The subscribing procedure is slightly different for the next few list. But if you follow the instruction you wont have any difficulties **************************************************************** ------------------------------------------------------------------ FREEDOM on email@example.com Freedom Astrology The FREEDOM list was founded for free discussion of astrology, tarot, and other systems of philosophy, the ways these can interact with science, and the way these systems can help us live better, more self-directed lives. To join, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with any subject, and the first line of the message should be: join freedom To join the digest, the first line should instead read: join freedom-digest ------------------------------------------------------------------- Truckerswives is a mailing list for truckers wives or anyone's that has a spouse that travels alot. This list is open to anyone. It is for support, friendship and just plain fun! To subscribe to Truckerswives send an email to majordomo@UserHome.com subscribe Truckerswives or subscribe Truckerswives-digest for the digest version. Lotte Evans xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox The Cup Of Memory xoooxoxoxxxxxxxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Wartimes Memories email@example.com I remembered the school playground being sprayed with bullets from a low flying plane. Luckily there were no injuries (except for a few grazed knees and hands as we all dived for cover). I remember being out one evening when a raid started. There I was, siting on some steps near our railway station watching the most wonderful and beautiful sight I had even seen in my young life - tracers, flaming onions (what ever they were) and various other forms of death creating fantastic patterns in the night sky. I was entranced and suddenly WHOP! My Dad had clouted me across my head , grabbed me and rushed me home to shelter. If there had been such a thing as 'being grounded' in those days I think it would have been for the duration! I remember seeing a German aircraft glide silently over the rooftop, blazing from one end to the other. I bear a scar on my knee caused by falling shrapnel (of which I had a great collection). Luckily, this piece had spent its energy on a roof before falling and hitting me. I remember going up one morning to a friends house only to discover that it had been flattened. My friends' two young sister were both dead, he and his mother were taken away for safety (His Dad had already been killed on the front). I remember spending night after night in a cupboard under the stairs listening to the whistle and whump of bombs, the crack of the ack-ack guns, shrieks and whistles from other armament. I remember staying with my aunt one weekend, and suddenly realizing at about 0300 during a raid that my family were in distress. How I knew this who knows. But shortly after Mum, Dad, brother and sisters arrived at my aunts. Our home had been flattened. That's just a few on my memories of a horrible but exciting time. I hold no grudges against the Germans or others. C'est la vie as the French say, or even 'C'est la guerre'! I still have a wooden toy that a German prisoner gave to me one Christmas after we had had him home for a Christmas dinner. Good it is. It is shaped like a paddle. As you hold it and gently swing it, four little hens peck alternatively at the gound as a weight swings around beneath it. One final thing. It has been officially announced that size for size, Plymouth was the most heavily bombed city in England. Coventry suffered mainly through a fire-storm which detroyed a large area of the city, but had a low tonnage of bombs dropped there. More citizens died in Plymouth that any other English city, and the record for the longest continuous raid is also held by Plymouth - a dubious honour! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox Senior Smiles xoooxoxoxxxxxxxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Useful Word's and Phrases For Parent's .......
Yes, I am serious.
What part of NO don't you understand?
Don't hit your brother.
Don't hit your sister.
I'm talking to you.
Because I said so.....that's why.
Did you brush your teeth?
People like us don't do things like that.
Because I said so, that's why.
What are you doing out of bed?
Go back to bed.
Hello.... No, she's not home.
Hello..... No, he's not home.
They are still not home.
They'll call you when they get home.
Don't call here after 10 PM.
Because I said so, that's why.
I'll count to ten and then we're going without you.
Did you go to the bathroom?
If you don't go, you're not going.
I mean it.
Why didn't you go before we left?
Can you hold it?
What's going on back there?
I don't want to hear about it.
Give me a kiss.
You give the best kisses
I need a hug.
You give the best hugs.
Make your bed.
Don't look at your sister.
Would you watch what you're doing.
Move your glass, it's too close to the edge.
More, please. That's better.
Just eat one bite of salad.
You don't always get what you want. That's life.
Don't argue with me.
I'm not discussing this anymore.
No, ten minutes are not up.
I'll tell you when you can come out
Stop yelling. If you want to ask me something,
STOP YELLING. IF YOU WANT TO ASK ME SOMETHING,
Ask your father.
Don't sit so close to the television, it's bad
for your eyes.
Because I said so, that's why...
That's the rule in this house. ......that's the
rule. ..... that's the rule......
BECAUSE I LOVE YOU .....THAT'S WHY......
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ________ Sonnet to Pain Pain is not here: It is a chimera. Not substance; not manifest in the soul, Not either wound-related or disease. There is naught but promise here and hope. Pain will quarter the injured limb afire. Poison the blood, and damage all unwell. But I have turned a loving eye to ache and lured discomfort to my place to sleep. To trick the savage seeker of the soft points to sweet lull like death and breathing for the night silenced with a garrote and bound it tight. Agony submerges to zero in the sheet Dissipating in the kisser of resolve. Yea, I know not my attacker in defeat. Ellen Adams firstname.lastname@example.org