Safta (Grandmother in Hebrew)
For the last 4 months in Israel, I have been blessed with the opportunity to carefully observe a pattern of thought and behavior inside myself while staying in the presence of Safta (Grandmother in Hebrew).
Safta is an 87 year old woman whom rises out of bed everyday at 5:30 in the morning, flips on the radio for companionship, takes an half hour walk, comes back for breakfast and then meanders through the day enjoying programs on television, rest and timely food breaks. At 87 years, she is full of life, smiles frequently, is sharp in the mind and quite honestly, enjoys more outside activities then me these days. 2 times a week she goes for pillates and often she attends gatherings of other Holocaust survivors (Yeah, all this and she is a Holocaust Survivor).
So, back to my pattern of thought. I find that I was raised to think that the old is tossed away from society like a used dishrag. The thought of claiming someone to be useless based on their ability to perform daily work is quite insane to say the least. But, here I am, conditioned in that pattern, looking upon the times when she is helpless or forgetful (which is very few and far between) with pity and even disgust.
So, I catch myself in this thought saying WHY? This great pillar of wisdom in front of me whom has suffered through and risen above the most horrific of circumstances and has lived to tell the story with her mere presence alone, WHY, can I be so narrow minded to look upon her deteriorating body and contemplating the uselessness, WHY, because that is what our great society in the West teaches us. If someone is old, they are mold. It is sick to say the least and
RIGHT HERE AND NOW, I am standing to transform it for myself.
I will NOW look upon this base of knowledge that Safta represents with humility and respect. I honor the age of her experience in THIS LIFE and to learn from the patterns of thought that have carried her into her later years. I wake up to the sun and embrace a new day with her sweet smile in my mind knowing that I am blessed with the opportunity to see the glory of creation expressed through an aging vessel.
Safta, aside from the great wisdom I have received in knowing your struggles and triumphs in life, I honor your gift to the world as it is a symbol of the strength we all have to keep on LIVING our lives until the day it is time to go. THANK YOU!!!