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The secret of youth – grandchildren and great-grandchildren at play

Again gracefully begins and ends with children
Again gracefully begins and ends with children
(E Jacob)

Who wants to get old, shrivel up and die? No one.

As long as you are healthy and can fully participate in it, life is sacred, life is precious, life is joyous.

Searching for the fountain of youth and ways to stay young have long been man’s ongoing pursuit. Everyone wants to find the secrets to staying and looking younger longer, ways to rejuvenate, re-energize, and remain active and alive forever.

Forget the notion of special youth-restoring potions. There are tons of products on the market that promise to help remove age spots, tighten skin, remove wrinkles, and cover up gray hair. Some work. Some don’t. And while they may give you the appearance of looking younger, they may not really make you feel younger.

Here’s the real secret of making older people FEEL younger and alive.

  • It’s magical. It’s within reach of everyone, every family. And it’s free.
  • You can’t bottle it. You can’t buy it. It’s not really magic.
  • It’s a kind of joy and wonder intrinsically found in the youngest of us all.
  • You can see it every day. You can see it at the mall. You can see it in an airport. You can see it at a playground. You can see it at restaurants. You can see it in a nursing home.

What is it? It’s that very special moment when magic and miracles converge -- when babies and toddlers interact with the elderly. Boom!

  • Bowed heads are lifted.
  • Sad and empty eyes become alive with joy.
  • Smiles explode across faces.

The innocent, youthful joy, energy, and unsolicited, unconditional love found in a two-year old captivate and perform miracles on all of us – especially the elderly.

Here’s just one instance and incidence of proof.

I am 64-years old. My mom (G-d bless her) is 84. She eats healthy, exercises regularly and is more beautiful than her years belie. She is youthful, strong, and healthy. That she was born in Poland and survived the Holocaust is a miracle. That I am here (according to statistics of what happened to the Jews in Poland) is even more of a miracle.

Each year Holocaust survivors age and their numbers dwindle. Each year there are fewer and fewer who live on as a testament to their faith, their strength, their struggle and their “joie de vivre”.

Such is the miracle that my mom, mother of 3, grandmother of 8, great-grandmother to 6 (so far – the grandkids are just getting started ) is still active, still healthy AND (let’s face it) still alive.

So what is HER secret to youth -- living life to the fullest, even at her age?

It could be her faith and trust in God. It could be her inner and outer strength. It could be her brutal and raw gut-instincts, sense of survival and determination. It could be her healthy and active lifestyle. It could be and probably is a combination of all of the above.

But what I witnessed today says more about joyful living among the elderly than anything:

Everley (nearly 2-years-old) and her GiGi (great-grandmother, aged 84) played “hide and go seek”. So? In all my people-watching, I have never before seen more natural, spontaneous, pure, joy than watching the antics of these two females. And I cannot tell you who giggled more – GiGi or her great-granddaughter. Pure. Blessed. Joy. And I’m so lucky and thankful to have seen it.

If you enjoyed Ellen’s grandparenting article, you may also like:

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