I’m picking up on the completely different subject today, one that I feel more strongly on the more I realise how this impacts my life. It might be that you are inclined to pass on by but I urge you to take the few minutes to read. I believe it is something we can all benefit from, that for all of us regardless of the life we live, there is good to come from it.
I invite you to Adopt-a-Pillar.
The image below is taken from my mother’s church, Oxford Terrace Baptist in Christchurch, New Zealand. It is also a place where my grandparents on both sides and both my parents have grown up.
The picture is of pillars outside a new church building opened this year which replaced a much older church which literally collapsed in earthquakes that struck my city in 2010/2011.
The pillars were just a few resurrected from the old church building and stand as a reminder of what has been. I pass by this new building (also the site of the destroyed building) at least several times a week and it reminds me of something of a church that has held meaning for my family for at least a century.
But perhaps of even more meaning is that these pillars have for me is the people who have been in my life who are now old or have passed on from my life. They have been pillars for me.
In the past few weeks, I have attended two funerals for men who have been pillars in my life. All of my life. The first was my uncle and the second a pseudo-uncle (for want of a better term). He and his wife were close friends of my parents and growing up, they were always Aunty and Uncle to my brothers and me.
Both men, one in his eighties and the other in his nineties, were true gentlemen, I had great respect for them, and while they might not always have agreed with what I was doing with my life, they were always interested and encouraging when I saw them. By simply being themselves, they offered me a lesson in how to be in this world.
How can you not have respect for people who have been married for sixty years? I couldn’t manage to be married for five years. They had so much to teach me if I simply paid attention.
Their deaths, so close together, made me stop and appreciate the older people in my life. Appreciate their wives who still live. I have been really fortunate because while growing up I didn’t see much of my grandparents, I did have other older people. I think of Mr and Mrs S, Mrs N, Mrs H, Miss B and more. They were elderly people in the churches where my father was the minister. These people were pillars for me. They stood tall and the encouraged me as I grew.
I know that many have had bad relationships with older people, whether parents, teachers, or relatives. I can understand any reluctance if you don’t want contact with the elderly. And I know that I while I have been so lucky in terms of having parents who stayed together and loved each other, others have not been so lucky.
I have been fortunate to have pillars in my life, supporting me, loving me and simply showing me how to be a good person.
If you don’t have elderly people in your life, go out and get some. Adopt-a-Pillar. Seriously, there are plenty of elderly people out there who would love to be your pillars.
There will be places in your communities that can put you in touch with older people whether in clubs or retirement complexes. There are plenty of elderly people who have no one and would love to have you in their lives.
People who have lived eighty or ninety years have an amazing take on life. They’ve been doing it for much longer than us, and in a world that was not easy on them.
When I drive past the church above and see those five pillars, I see my Dad, those two men who have died recently and others who are or have been pillars for me. I am seriously lucky to have/had them.
I know this is a strange post, but I know that I am a better person for the elderly people who have been, and are still in my life. Because of this, I encourage you to try it. Adopt-a-Pillar.
Thanks for reading