Today I used the phrase "I've bullied older women then you!" And meant it. Which sent me down a long reminiscing path.
It always amazes me how I am "the boss" to people older then me. That I'm in a position to say to someone "I'm ordering you to go home and get well." (Or something even stronger but along those lines.)
I've pushed women twice my age (figuratively) out the door and into a doctor's office. Or worse. How did I get this authority? And why do they listen to me? I'm young enough to be their child ... or grandchild in a couple of cases.
But boy I'm glad they do.
Last week we lost our dear Ginzie. She worked at Manhattan Center from it's founding until about 2 years ago when she fell ill and could not return. At the time of her retirement, she was the most senior paraprofessional in New York City. She loved the kids she worked with and they loved her in return. Same with the staff.
I learned so much from Ginzie.
I learned ... to always say good morning. And mean it.
I learned ... to always ask nicely. And say Thank you. (o.k., I knew this one, she just reinforced it.)
I learned ... that to be a good person is the highest goal one can achieve. To do for others is a good thing (yup, already knew this one but you can never learn it too often). To celebrate with your friends. To share their sadness as well as their joy. To suck it up and know when to say you are sorry. And mean it.
None of these lessons were taught with words, just with actions.
I never got used to being asked if she could take half and hour to go to mass on a holy day of obligation. But I started making sure that someone walked her to the church and back.
I never got used to her not being there any more ... and I never will.