Senior citizens have value

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There are not many areas in life that I’m defensive about. But one, for sure, is when seniors are denigrated as being worthless in current society. In a recent article I reminded readers about seniors being essential to our economy.

My emphasis today is on the value that seniors make and things they do. None of them are couch potatoes.

Cheryl Jordan. She is a retired counselor from Fontana High School. She is also a retired adjunct professor from the University of Redlands School of Education.

As a retiree (age 72) she exercises regularly at the Highland YMCA and writes poetry. No coach potato is she. Here’s an example of her poetry.


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Maybe we only get so many wishes that come true; I’ll save mine up for a special time. Postponing death or illness, Big things, I’ll have saved a stack of. Wishing chips to bargain with. The universe, careful not to waste them on finding a parking space, or winning a Panda bear at the fun zone place.

Cheryl’s poetry is just a prelude to eight others-four women and four men that prove being seniors is not for the lazy, weak and faint of heart. They were chosen at random.

Carolyn is 71 years old with four siblings. She is a widow and the mother of two children. She worked for 30 years as a Purchasing Agent. She is active in her church and the Highland Senior Center, and exercises regularly. An avid reader and describes herself as FRIENDLY.  Which she is.

Donald is 68 years old with two younger siblings and three children. He has been married for 39 years and before he retired he worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 39 years.

He exercises regularly and is very active in the Highland Senior Center. He especially enjoys cruising with his wife. Seemingly he has few ailments. No wonder his favorite description is HAPPY.

Patsy is 83 years old and a widow. A native from Ohio, she was a bookkeeper for 62 years. She is very active in her church, watching movies and having lunch with friends.

She has several ailments that keep her from exercising: arthritis, HBP, cholesterol. Patsy has 2 living children and has traveled extensively.

The word BLESSED is her favorite word.

Paul was born in 1939 (78). He is single and has two children. Paul loves stock car racing and working on his classic car. He is a military veteran of 20 years and was in Vietnam.

His favorite words are: EASY GOING. By the way, he exercises in a local gym.

Tess is a neighbor. She is 64 years old and has two children. She must use hearing aids.    She has five living siblings and two children. After 18 years of marriage she is now single. Her hobbies are photography and painting portraits.

Her father was a Baptist minister and she participates in a Bible study every day. She is a prolific painter of portraits when she isn’t babysitting. The word that best describes her is SERVANT.

Rich is a motorcycle enthusiast and has raced competently. He is married and has three sons. He is 74 years old but looks about 50. He has one sibling. He and Linda have lived in Highland for over 50 years. Rich was a cement contractor and inspector and currently he raises chickens. Both of them exercise at the local YMCA. His word is CURIOUS.

Sandra was born in Honduras and is 63 years old and has five living siblings. She has three children and is a widow. She is a retired teacher.

Although she is diabetic, Sandra exercises regularly and attends a weekly Bible study. She likes to crochet, read and visiting her family.

Her favorite word to describe herself is FRIENDLY.

Dale is a living miracle. He is a cancer survivor. At age 60 he looks like he could be a linebacker for the Patriots. He has two siblings and one daughter.

For 39 years he worked as a pipe fitter and building inspector. In addition to cancer he is a diabetic and has neuropathy. He thoroughly enjoys exercising, shooting, fishing, traveling and car restoration. He is 60 years old.  BULLHEADED is his word.

I’ll close this article with another of Cheryl’s poems. In reading them remember she has a poignant thought she is writing about.

                                                TO BE THOUGHTFUL

I wanted to carry books in my arms. Have them around me; stacked and piled everywhere.  If only they’d spill themselves. Spill themselves and flow straight into my nerve cells. I’d be thoughtful, I’d be wise.  If only the words could get inside.

Amen. Selah. So be it.


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