In Celebration


I’ve just returned from a visit to my in laws. They’re both in their nineties now and really coping well. Although my father-in-law is not well at the moment, hence the long visit to Wales.

My husband and I took them a framed photograph of themselves when they were much younger. I think they really liked the idea. They showed the portraits to all the carers and nurses who attended whilst we were there. It was my intention that their visitors should know that they’d both led wonderful lives.

It’s strange that as people grow older, outsiders focus entirely on their ages. I’m sure it must frustrate a lot of old people. We must celebrate their achievements. We do them a terrible disservice by ignoring their accomplishments.

With this in mind, I’ve placed a few photographs on this blog that my father-in-law did when he was in the Middle East during the 2nd World War. He was a keen amateur photographer and has really captured the essence of the region.


16 responses to “In Celebration

  1. Jan, these photographs are amazing! You’re father in law was more than an amateur. πŸ™‚ This blog is funny timing for me. My mother mentioned this morning she had a chance to visit with a gentleman last night that worked at the city with her. They had a great time talking stories. I realized that I never ask her about that aspect of her life. I never give her a chance to remind me of how much she accomplished, both professionally and personally. I need to do that more. So thank you for this reminder, and for these wonderful pictures.

  2. Hi, Laurie. Thanks πŸ™‚

    My father-in-law went on to become a commercial artist, so he’s obviously got an artistic eye πŸ™‚

  3. Amazing photos!!

  4. Oh Jan, thank you for sharing. Yes, it is easy to forget that we all pass from childhood to adult with all the seasons. Our reunion is this coming Saturday and I’ve been putting pictures together. Seeing my grandmother as a young woman, my mother as a child, graduating and a new bride has certainly reminded me.

  5. Fabulous photos, Jan. What a talented man. I agree that sometimes people tend to only focus on how old the oldsters are and dismiss their accomplishments. A real shame.

  6. Those photos are beautiful! Thanks for a great reminder. Old people aren’t old, they’re experienced. πŸ™‚

  7. Yes, Lavada, as the years go by, I think we realise that all too soon we may be in their position.

    Hope you have a great reunion πŸ™‚

  8. Thanks, Tricia

    I shall be passing on all your wonderful comments. It will cheer them up no end πŸ™‚

  9. Jamie, I love your comment ~

    “Old people aren’t old, they’re experienced.”

    How true! πŸ™‚

  10. You are so right about the temptation to focus on the present age and condition of folks who have journeyed through fabulous, or maybe even quieter lives. I worked in a nursing home in WA state. We emphasized their entire lives, surrounding their little spot with family pictures, and had volunteers who visited to write their stories. Their social history is listed in their chart. We interviewed them and put articles in the monthly newsletter. Institutions have a difficult time keeping the word out about these wonderful folks, but the effort is rewarding to all concerned.

    Great post, and one much needed. They must appreciate you so much. And the photographs are works of art, especially the eyes he caught in the man wearing a turbine. And if that’s your father-in-law in the first picture, what a handsome dude!

  11. WOW! These are spectacular photos. I wish I was close enough to come visit him – I’d love to pick his brain over all the things he saw and experienced in his life. My FIL was 98 when he died and he was soooo interesting. The century they lived in was so full of changes and it must have been dizzying to live through that whirlwind. Treasure your inlaws as I know you do.

    Thanks for sharing all this. So wonderful. Here’s to many more happy memories with them.

  12. Valerie J. Patterson

    Fantastic photographs. I studied them with interest. He certainly had a keen eye. I especially like the third one. There’s so much character in his face. He even looks a bit ornery, if you look at the eyes. Very nice work.

    Even though the elderly may have less strength, less stamina, and less energy, they have the wisdom of lives lived. Sometimes people forget that.

  13. Thanks, Marion

    Although in their nineties, they’re still bright as buttons. I know they don’t feel their age mentally, but physically that’s a different story.

    The first photo is one of his friend Stan. πŸ™‚

  14. Thanks, Jillian

    They do have a tale or two to tell. I love listening to them even though I may have heard it before. It’s true they have lived through a whole host of changes, from crystal sets to to IPads. πŸ™‚

  15. Thanks, Valerie

    Yes, you certainly wouldn’t want to cross him πŸ˜‰

    I think we begin to appreciate the old people, the older we become ourselves. At our recent reunion, several of the younger family members couldn’t wait to leave ~ more important things to do. They’ll change eventually πŸ™‚

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