It is no wonder that we are all just a little bit on the wonky side of “keep on, keepin’ on” which is an expression sweet Miss Lillian used to say about being 100. In other words, it was totally beyond her understanding as to why she was still alive when most of her family and friends were deceased. (What’s the point of being 100 ?)
In Japan, China, and other countries and cultures where ancestors are venerated, and elder family members are treasured and cared for, being 100 would have instant meaning and awe. There would be no “why” attached to the wondering but simple age-as-gift-to-family. Here in the USA, we are beginning to see the value of honoring these elders. And the value of family in a way that was not evident 17-18 months ago so we can protect those that we love. It will change the way that we care for family.
For those of us who have not “lost” a family member or dear friend to “The Covid”we may have had other losses that happened during all these many months; losses that have given us new understandings of what it means to grieve. Or to “do without”…or to sacrifice, or whatever has totally helped to reshape our way of life or faith or way -of- life. One minute we are (and were) doing the “same old, same old” then all of a sudden we have been pitched headlong into changing it all. That is, those of us who are in a position to do so. Or at least begin to understand that which used to work (even to help others) has to be seen from a totally different perspective. We need new frameworks for making the most of what we can do best and new connections to synergize our visions, systems, and action for a future that was beyond our imaginations 2 years ago.
Back to Miss Lillian’s expression of “keep on, keepin’ on” which was what she always said when asked how she was “doing”… So what are we doing? Everything has changed. Our personal lives, professional lives, religious and/or spiritual lives, home lives, school lives, and the systems that made all of these function, are not always or no longer there to do what this dear friend expressed so plainly.
Perhaps it will simply be a matter of tacking on (and filling in) of what used to make everything “work” ( a remodeling of sorts), a total renovation, or it will be a totally new construction. A whole new design or a patchwork. Like a new puzzle we must all work out for ourselves.
To “keep on” we need to rewind. Find the purpose. Find The reason, the goal, and the dream which may have changed but usually carries the same theme even if the images have changed. (That is, if we did not get the “message” of the dream in the first place…)
If we head straight for that, or finally discover what “it” really is, then we can begin to heal from the losses that we all have suffered in one way or another. We can move forward. Take action to do something. Make a difference, especially a difference that brings “life” and love into our hearts. (And it is usually something that we can look forward to.…!)
We are all the recipients of Miss Lillian’s legacy. At 100 she was still asking the questions but trusting in faith in God to answer them and Faith answered. She showed us what matters most: We All Do.
©️ Janine C. Hagan, 2021.