Not for Sissies!: Reminiscing about positive memories

Jackie Vickers

Remember when as a kid you used to go visit your Grandparents and have dinner? After dinner everyone would sit around and listen to your grandparents talk about the ‘good ole days.’

Inevitably you would hear Grandpop’s story about walking 5 miles in the snow to get to school. And that was after milking the cows. And Grandma would tell about the garden and “putting up” the vegetables.

Science has taught us that the home canned vegetable most likely to cause botulism is green (string) beans, a low acid vegetable that grows early and easily. And they look so pretty in a jar. Now science has taught us that string beans are not safe to home can using the water bath method. Grandma didn’t know that and she kept on growing and canning but we all survived the green (string) beans, put up with loving care, and without a pressure cooker.

What you and your family were really doing was listening. You could not have given them a better present. They were reminiscing. This type of reminiscing is associated with happy and healthy aging. They enjoy sharing their experiences with the up-coming generation.

Aging people share their life story, share positive memories, how they grew up (the 5 mile walk in the snow), where they grew up, and their school days. There is just so much they have to share. A life time of good memories, teen-age years, first car, first dance, being May Queen, vacation pictures, and so much more.

When the elderly reminiscence, they tend to focus on pleasant experiences and some people reminiscence more than others. There is still a lot that science hasn’t figured out about the whys and whats of reminiscing but more is learned every day. Sometimes magazine pictures, photos albums, even a ride around the work boats, pleasure boats, Long Wharf, some of the simplest things can stimulate memories.

Ride me around Long Wharf and I’ll tell you about Aunt Berdye and Uncle Guy Tall who raised me, riding out in a black Chevy Coupe on hot summer evenings and parking at Long Wharf, lining up to see the Fountain and opening the doors to catch the breeze (remember no air conditioning, either car or home).

Like magic, the Fountain lights would come on (looking like dancing waters). I was probably 5 years old or so and I would run around the Fountain trying to run through the water blown by the breeze onto the side walk. How easily we were entertained. Sorry I not only digressed but I had fun doing it.

Please take the time out of your busy day to encourage your “old” relatives and friends to reminiscence. Why not a reminiscence group, club or party of old friends and talk about old times minus the gossip. Invite a few younger folks to appreciate what was.

Editor’s note: Jackie Jones Vickers writes from her desk at Pleasant Day Medical Adult Day Care at 2474 Cambridge Beltway in Cambridge Maryland. She worked with the Aging population for 10 years or so before opening Pleasant Day Medical Adult Day Care in the late eighties. Thirty years later Pleasant Day is thriving and serving the aging and disabled population at a campus designed and built for medical adult day care. You can reach Jackie at 410-228-0190.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment