Thanking Our Elders for Spunk and Courage

Healthy children will not fear life if their elders have integrity enough not to fear death. ~ Erik H. Erikson

I may be on an “elder” kick.  In yesterday’s post I was pondering amazement at a beautiful Chickasaw elder in Oklahoma who was described by my father as a “National Treasure.”  I agree.

This morning, I read a story about a spunky elder…not in Oklahoma, but in Alaska.  Her story is quite intriguing, but the point I came to after I read it was this:  Through the battle she encountered, she still had the good sense to understand the perspective of the moose she was swatting with a shovel.  

You don’t often read about acknowledgement and understanding during a battle – especially one where someone’s life could be on the line.

I’m grateful this morning for our elders.  The elders I know are mostly in Oklahoma.  Some have witnessed the U.S. being in five or more wars.  They have stories of living with nothing, stories of overcoming challenges, and a history for our children and grandchildren that is far more valuable than the iPhones they carry.  Rather, that history provides them with the knowledge and the hope that THEY can survive, that THEY can overcome, and THEY can accept challenges and come out on the other side, a better person.

I’m going to end this short post this morning by laying down a challenge to you.  Take a little time to connect with the elders in your life if you haven’t in a while.  They are our teachers for the future, and The World is our homework from those beautiful lessons.

[kelly]

This article copied directly from January 24th, 2012 – USA Today

By Bill Roth, Anchorage Daily News, via AP

An 85-year-old Alaska woman used a shovel to beat back a moose that had stomped her 82-year-old husband and then charged her, the Anchorage Daily News reports from The Last Frontier.

George Murphy, a well-known bush pilot, suffered seven broken ribs and gashes to his head and left leg. His wife, Dorothea Taylor, was unhurt in the confrontation Friday morning as they exercised their two golden retrievers at the Willow Airport.

“He was way off. Jeez, he spotted me and he started to come right after me,” Murphy said Sunday from his hospital bed (video). “So I was trying to get to the truck. But I didn’t make it.”

With no trees or other protection, Murphy dove into the deep snow. “He started to stomp. Then he turned around and stomped again. And there was nothing I could do. I was afraid he was going to kill me.”

Taylor, 5 feet tall and 97 pounds, heard the dogs barking and jumped out to investigate. “I thought he was trying to kill Fellar, the old dog,” she said. Unaware that her husband was down in the snow or that the beast was attacking him, she ran toward the animals.

The moose then came at her.

Taylor hurried back to the truck, grabbed a grain shovel, and then made a bee line for the moose. Swinging mostly at the animal’s rump, she whacked it at least once on the head.

“When it turned and started to go off slowly, I hit it with everything I had,” she said. The younger dog, Tut, then chased the moose away.

Neither is upset at the moose. This winter has been harsh, with extreme cold (Taylor estimated it was minus 30 at the time) and deep snow causing stress and starvation.

“They’re just at the end of their rope,” Murphy said. “They’ll just strike out at anything.”

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One thought on “Thanking Our Elders for Spunk and Courage”

  1. Well said, RDK. There is so much we can learn from our elders if we will just slow down enough and take the time to do it. I think of my grandparents and the wonderful stories and lessons I learned from them. My grandpa would tell the story of the cow that would only allow his mom to milk her. So on the day he had to go milk the cow, after many tries, he finally went and put on one of his mom’s dresses and bonnet, and only then was able to milk it. LOL. I wish I had asked me questions while they were still with us. My heart misses them ~

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