Thursday, February 25, 2010

Never Too Old

By Danelle Frisbie


"Grandma Frisbie"

My own grandmother, at 96 years of age, has quite the stories to tell about birthin' babies and raising kids in 'her day'. She has filled my quest for knowledge with stories of what it was like to peacefully parent in times past. Her tails of mothering are enticing and continuously prompt me to pose further questions... Never is there enough time during our conversations to cover all ground. And there is so, so much we can learn from the generations before us -- both from their successes and from their mistakes.

At the age of 95, my grandmother read up on the prepuce and circumcision (there are some things that cannot remain un-discussed when you have me as a granddaughter). You may think intactivist issues would be an area a 95-yr-old-woman couldn't care less about -- after all, she's not going to be birthing more babes or influencing anyone in this matter. But still, she read, and highlighted, and underlined, and made notes - devouring the information and knowledge that was never provided to her in the 1940s and 50s when she was having children. She had a change of heart about the matter, indeed. Said that she never knew "all of this" and that doctors surely should have provided such information to parents at that time... "We were told it was just a small tip of skin and that it did not hurt. They said it had to be done." She continued spreading the articles and books before her on the kitchen table, "I would think this would be something everyone should know about." Ah, yes. And so, with that, a wise 95 year old woman - mother, grandmother and great grandmother, became an intactivist in her own humble way for the first time in her life -- proving to the world that you are never too young, never too old, to become informed and have a change of heart.

This cute video below highlights another older couple - also in their 90s. Fran and Marlo Cowan have been married almost 63 years now, and they, too, have a number of stories under their belt to tell. This video was taken when the couple entered the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and found a piano in the lobby just begging to be played. In an impromptu show, Fran and Marlo entertained others at Mayo that day with their fun rendition of "Old Grey Bonnet."

If nothing else, it will bring a smile to your face.



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7 comments:

  1. That is evidence of true wisdom... not only having stories to tell and experience to share, but always being willing to learn something new, even at an age when many people decide they've already heard everything and so close their ears. What a wonderful woman your grandmother is! A treasure in the world.

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  2. When I was in the hospital still debating about whether or not to circumcise my two twin boys I had a great discussion with my grandma. She opened up and told me my grandpa was not, my dad was, my uncle was not. So later that day I asked if my dad knew that his dad and brother were not. He did not know that. So much for his argument about boys should look like their dads. If it wasn't for Grandma, I would have thought my dad "knew" his dad was circ-ed. Two of my sons are and now two of my sons aren't. Any more boys and they will be intact. Thanks for all the great articles.

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  3. Oh I loved it! thanks for sharing that video! and that is so awesome about your grandmother!

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  4. I too shared several insightful conversations with my precious Grandmother Alida, (passed away in 1995) and her Mother,Wilhelmina, my Great Grandmother. (passed away in 1994)How disregarded and overlooked the aging can be to some. Wonderful video, thanks for sharing! :)

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  5. >But still, she read, and highlighted, and underlined, and made notes - devouring the information and knowledge...
    She ain't YOUR grandma for nothing. :-)

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  6. That's such a wonderful story. The exact same thing happened with me and my Grandma, except my Grandma is only about 80 years old. She also became against circumcision once she learned about it and wished that she had known something before having her son.

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  7. When I was born, my paternal grandma was all over my mother to get me circumcised. My mother flatly refused, and was warmly supported by her own mother. Both are now long dead, but I remain deeply grateful to the Good Grandma...

    The willingness of Grandma Frisbie to read and learn about the most sexual part of the male body, even though she has almost surely been a widow for many years, and her childbearing years are far far behind her, is deeply moving. Thank you Danelle for sharing this with us.

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