In memory of the ones we used to be

May 25, 2012 01:00 pm
The outsides of me looks like an old person.

The insides of me verifies that I am an old person.

But, there is one little part of me that is hidden from view from everyone but myself that says I am ageless.

In this secret part I am a child, I am a lover, I am a caregiver, I am an artist, I am world-wise.

I am aged only in that my body refuses to continue accepting my youth.

I want to run and play — jump rope, play hopscotch, climb a tree, swim a lake, hike a mountain. Can you see that I do it in my mind by remembering?

I want to work — to hang a picture on the wall, to clean as once I could, to be involved in building a bright and useful future. Can you see that I’m no longer able or allowed?

You see me sitting here with a smile on my face, hiding my pain, my disappointments, my longings.

Some say I’ve lived long enough, maybe too long. They hear not my cries to continue being part of their lives, of their joys and sorrows, of life itself in the way it used to be, in the way it could be.

I have so much more to give, but it’s in such different ways now that my body becomes more frail and doesn’t respond so well to my commands.

Do they know what acknowledging the importance of my existence means?

Just in little ways. Just to know that inside of me still exists the one I once was and still am.

They say and see me as an old person. Maybe they will never know the real me that hides inside an old body and can no longer be called forth for viewing.

They count life in years. Maybe mine have been expended ... and, yet, desert me not.

I still have much to give if you will just but look my way and see it. Let me be a part of your world in some little ways.

What vibrant youth knows not, that with any luck, they, too, will one day be old enough to wonder why no one sees the one they used to be.

In Memory of the ones we used to be.


Things change and we cry against them. But, they change anyway and we must adjust to the changes or leave them where they are and go our own ways.

Why is the way it was not good enough anymore, we complain. If it was working, why must we change it?

But, life does not remain stagnant. With the changes, sometimes comes a new beginning and opportunities that we never dreamed possible. And, yet, let us not discard the value of what we have known, but learn from its wisdom.

It is a strange world I live in right now. I know it not. But I still see hope along this struggling path.


Remembering those who have given their lives to protect our country, our way of life, our very own selves.

Remembering those whom we have loved and given over to another place, another time, another world.



Veteran newspaperwoman Dorothy Swart Fleshman is a La Grande native. Reach her at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it