Generation Hearing Aid

“Why do young women like their hair sloppy these days? Women of my age keep their hair combed and styled to look decent,” said the man standing next to his wife donning a beehive from the south side of Hades.

I knew better than to be insulted by his comment. His wife and I were from different eras with different ideas of beauty, but we got along just fine. It was him that couldn’t make peace with Generations Whatever. This happened over a decade ago, before I became a parent without the time to care about my hair or anyone else’s.

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But the comment that really ruffled my sloppy-young hair was when he made fun of my size. “Women of my generation were soft, and had more curves. Girls of today are just skin and bones,” said the man when my 120 pound frame helped a caregiver lift his 200+ sack of curves from the floor. Did I tell him that I worked muscle onto my skin and bones every day before work so I could lift him and a few others off the floor each time they fell?

No. Even as a young spawn from Generation Whatever, I knew his sass was due to his loss of dignity. The next day, he came to my desk and told me he used to be a cop. He was the one who came to the rescue. He told me about the 100 lb. bags of Whatever he could lift above his head. I heard the frustration coming through his insults, and understood.

He just wanted someone to hear him—the real him that was a hero and not chained inside his worn-out body. I think each generation mourns the differences of the ones that follow, focusing on the changes in attitudes, fashion, and music. But if my crabby friend had stopped talking long enough to pay attention, he would have realized that I didn’t care a flying beehive what year he came from, or what he looked like as an old man—I heard him. I saw him.

And despite being the one of the worst listeners I’ve ever known, the man inside the skin taught me how to hear people.

I wish the Millennials great hair and good ears.

The Story of Us…a (rerun) favorite.

I’m taking some time off this week, so I decided to post an old favorite. This blog also appeared on Christian ebooks today last year.

Blessings as you approach the cross this week. May Christ’s sacrifice outshine the Easter Bunny (not that I don’t like the Easter Bunny).

 

Stories that breathe – ghosts of family legacies, the mishaps, failures and the champions of our past are the myriad steps to a life well-lived for those big eyed-pink cheeked souls sitting around our dinner table.
Chloe loves to run; the destination not necessarily tangible. Mud puddles, my mom’s place in the country, sidewalks and fiercely windy days have been pounded by 5 year old feet. When I see her face, I know she is feeling the joy of doing something that has been designed into her precious soul.

On a family outing to the park, we split up to race each other home. Noah and John went one way; stroller and straight paths, Chloe and I went another direction on foot and ready to win. Our path was a little more challenging, and Chloe slowed to a walk half-way into our race.

“Your Papa won a trophy in high school. He was the fastest runner in the state of Arizona.”

Before I finished the sentence, she grew wings. We won. She just needed to know that she had the blood of a champion.

My great uncle wrote a family history with the good and the bad; everything tied up in an honest bow. There were stories of the warriors, the civil war cousins – one who camped on the others lawn, and then there were the details that sent prickles up my spine; the artists and writers and those in medicine whose passions trickled down the line more than a hundred years later.

What do we see when we look back?100_1331

Failures, victories, heroes and villains. One step forward, two steps back until a leap of faith makes a hero.

I tell Chloe about her Papa, and how he had his own struggles, but had feet like wings. He had little education but worked hard and found his final job working with N.A.S.A. He tried and failed, and tried again and again until his work literally reached the stars.

Family histories are a lifeline. We must tell our stories to our children, so when they need that extra push, all they have to do is reach back and grab the baton. We propel them forward by running our race hard enough to reach them, even when we have passed into the land of spirits.

But those that hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31