Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Rolodex of Life

Few people under age 30 probably know what a Rolodex is, but when I did secretarial work in the '70's and '80's, they were indispensable gadgets for keeping track of folks. The little cards were easy to add and remove as contacts came and went. With electronic means of managing contacts, this item seems quaint, but it came to me that a Rolodex is a good picture of life pertaining to generations.

I've been a genealogy nerd since I was a girl, and through I've discovered ancestors I didn't know I had as well as discovered more about the ones I'd learned about from my grandmothers. If we're lucky we get to know our grandparents, but few personally know more than two generations in either direction. The Rolodex cards are added at birth and taken off at death, so our only knowledge of those before us comes from stories handed down.

 Four generations: My mother's grandmother, Lola Caton Wakefield with her oldest daughter (my grandmother was the youngest of that large family), her daughter, and granddaughter, who was my mother's age). Lola babysat my mother until her death when my Mom was only 7, so my Mom has few real memories of her beloved grandmother. And her mother, my maternal grandmother, died when she was only 62 and I, her oldest grandchild was only 11.
Four generations: Now my mother has great-grandchildren and is in excellent health, so these new children may have some memories of her.

Time marches relentlessly and has no regard for individuals. The Rolodex turns, and we can't prevent our card from being removed someday. If we are blessed with a long life we'll move through each season in its turn: youth, middle age, old age. Growing older is not "fun" since our bodies are wearing down and gradually falling apart, but if we approach these changes with the right attitude, we can find many joys. I grieve to see women my age trying to recapture their youth by exercising hours a day, getting plastic surgery, and dressing like teenagers. We've had our turn to be young! Now it's time to embrace the work of being an older (and hopefully wiser) woman, like the worthy woman in Proverbs 31:10-31.

"The gray head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness." Proverbs 16:31


  1. Excellent words! I agree, we should embrace the age we are and enjoy this fleeting life for the happiness it can give.

    1. Good way to put it, Suze! I still miss my "summer season" of being a Mommy and homeschooling, but I realized I needed to give thanks for those years and keep moving forward! After all, that's where the Goal is!!!!