Elders Rock

I’ve been accumulating images of elders who I think rock in a Pinterest board. I’m just getting started with this project, but it occurs to me that my grandmother rocked. She was self-supporting at a time when women didn’t work, she worked hard at a job of her own devising, and she was plain awesome. Here’s to you, Grandma!


Author: Virginia DeBolt

Writer and teacher who writes blogs about web education, writing practice, and pop culture.

6 thoughts on “Elders Rock”

  1. Whose elders rock??? I’m pretty sure my elders are all pictured in a psychiatry text next to the mental disorders they suffer from. There’s my maternal grandfather the….pedophile (and possible antisocial personality), my mother the narcissistic borderline personality, my father who sat in the barca lounger and watched her beat my sisters and I when we were children, I don’t know the clinical term for that, there’s my aunt the fucking ghoul who pried my paternal grandmother’s bracelets off her as she lay dying, so nobody else could claim them after grandma croaked, is there a clinical term for that?

    And these are the people I looked up to growing up.

  2. My great grandmother went to America from UK on her own as a young woman of 20 in the 1890s. She found a job and sent for her fiance to join her. But he was too scared to travel that far so his brother went instead. They got married eventually on New Years Day in New York. They travelled back by sea when she was pregnant and she gave birth to her first baby on board the ship somewhere out at sea. I find her story incredible as she must have been very gutsy to do all that.
    I find older people amazing too and love to listen to their stories. It is often mind blowing what they achieved. I’m nearly 70 and I’ve been to Russia, Africa and all over the place for work. But I will never be as adventurous as my great grandma!

  3. Yes, I love those stories our grandparents and family tell us. My grandmother was only sixteen when her mother died. She lost her older sister soon thereafter. She always said it was from a broken heart. My grandmother was betrothed to a young man. However, she was at a wedding in her village and my grandfather also was at that wedding. He came from a neighboring village and they had never met. That was it. It was love at first sight. They married and came to the United States in the 1890’s. Stories of their trip over abounded. They were crowded. They were seasick. But they were brave. Here she was quite young and in a strange country. She never learned to write. She didn’t speak English. She didn’t have family here to lean on. She learned to cook, to garden, to can food, to take care of her three daughters. She then wound up taking care of my brother and myself when my mother had no choice but to work full time. And by this time my grandmother was suffering severely from rheumatoid arthritis. She was quite bent over and her hands were gnarled. She was in pain most of the time. She was completely selfless and devoted to her family. She never did learn to write. And we did have a lot of fun giggling together over her sometimes mispronunciation of words. But she was one of the most intelligent and gracious woman I’ve ever met. And the look in both grandparents eyes at a celebration dinner for their fiftieth anniversary was magical. You could see the tender love they shared. My grandfather had his own business and he and my grandmother owned three apartment houses in the city. His two brothers came to the U.S. later and both also were successful. And the best lesson I ever learned from all of them was never to be critical of others and to accept all people regardless of religion, color, or nationality.

  4. “Elders” is not a univocal term. Some elders rock. Others also rock, but in a chair built for that “activity.” Still others don’t rock; they whine There are elders who choose evolution rather than dissolution. Some elders are vulnerable and others are vociferous. Some are takers; others receivers. Some surrender to being voiceless and some become the voice of themselves along with the voiceless and vulnerable. – another group of “poor” in our world today. While it’s a neat rallying cry to proclaim “Elders rock” I would never want it applied to me. Today I rock; tomorrow I’m infirm; next I whine and then I am really needy. Simply put, I’m human and I’m still becoming…..;

  5. Decades of living and not living flowed by. Keystone changes when things external forced me to seek a different path or when things internal inspired me to strike out in a bold new direction. As the decisions and non-decisions accumulated, the world around me changed and I changed with it. Or against it. Now its my time to nudge or inspire others. Being a new arrival here, I sit briefly at the pinnacle of an ever-growing mount that the living climb until they, too, become one with Elders Rock.

  6. Of course elders rock.
    They always rock.
    Not because they are actually great, but because we look up to them . In fact , books can be filled with the jolly and not-so-jolly follies of our elders . Some are hilarious , some quirky and some , a few , in fact , quite positively evil. For death and distance (read time) can deify their dottiness, but they remain fragilely human .
    In fact , memories and reputation of some are so fragile , that a bit more of rocking could shatter them, irreparably.

    An uncle of mine , after a childhood of running barefoot in the paddy fields, decided that he had to crack the matriculation exams . He , of course , overdid his efforts; family folklore says he stuck his science notes to the toilet doors , in order to not waste the time sitting on the thunder box too, and stuffed formulas and logarithms into his cranium, even as he moved his bowels . The efforts paid off. He topped the state that year and was commended by the president himself.
    But the stupendous effort took its toll, and he lost his marbles . Taking a liking to number twelve ( a class he never cleared ), he made it his motto, the talisman , the auspicious number. Problems started when he would ask for twelve rotis with twelve pieces of curried potatoes, or catch the bus number twelve even when it took him in a direction diametrically opposite to his destination

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