If I had been born one year earlier, I would have been the last of the Silent Generation instead of the earliest Baby Boomer. I guess that makes me a traditionalist with a rebellious streak.
I was raised knowing that to tell the truth was a good thing unless it was personal, in which case it was TMI, a mishap without a name back then, but it existed all the same.
Who do you share your truths with? Elmo? Your pet, a spouse, a best friend, a total stranger who drove your Uber or cut your hair or served you a drink? Who knows your ugliest thoughts as well as your best intentions? One thing that aging has taught me is that we might all be better off if we did share more of our truths and worry less about privacy which has, after all, become a lost commodity.
I have found truth in other old women, those of us from the first generation in which women were educated by the millions. From the generation whose parents fought tooth-and-nail to provide for daughters as well as sons. From the first generation that believed a Barbie could be a pilot or a brain surgeon, then set out to prove it.
I find amazing truths from these women in their seventies and beyond. If there is any wisdom left on earth, you will find it here. We fought to remove the word “chattel” from divorce papers and to retain our own credit ratings even if the Mister’s sucked. We fought for birth control. We fought glass ceilings and are terrified once again that the cracks will close on our younger sisters.
These women have found ways to deal with their problems and have lived with them for decades. They’ve survived abuse or domination, they’ve walked the walk, not just crying fowl but doing something about it. They’re problem-solvers because they’ve had to be. They’ve been participants and are now observers, with great insight to share with anyone who might choose to listen.
I suspect this is why so many older women are poets: poetry by its very nature confronts things that are easier to kick under the rug.
Older women carry truths for each other. It’s where I choose to face down my ghosts with old lady Sally or Claudia or Betty Jo Jean. It is a marvelous age with lots to share, politics to babies. These women have handled grief and sorrow; they can handle yours as well.
These women are the gold in the golden years.
Linda B. Myers has authored 10 novels available locally and on Amazon. Maybe one of these days, a book of poetry will join the list. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org,