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MAVIS BECKLES: Very special old folk

marciadottin, [email protected]

MAVIS BECKLES: Very special  old folk

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WHEN I WAS GROWING UP, I couldn’t see myself at the age of 30; tuh me dat was old, very old.
When I reached the age of 30, I couldn’t see myself reaching 40 years old and saying I enjoying it. Now when I reached 40 years old, I had a big-able party and invited a whole lot o’ people and had a bundle o’ food and drink.
I wanted tuh really enjoy this milestone tuh the fullest because I hear people saying dat life begins at 40 so I started tuh believe it too and looked forward tuh this new kinda life.
Then, as if I thought dat I was going tuh stay 40 fuh evah, I didn’t give 50 or beyond dat the slightest thought but 50 was right ’round the corner and was brazenly starring me in the face as if tuh tell me dat I ain’t had nuh kinda control ovah nutten.  
So now, here I am in my 60s and have totally let go of the age thing. I have come tuh accept dat age is just a number and life is meant tuh be lived and enjoyed.
Now when I could look in the newspapers and see the amount o’ people who have not only reached 90 years old but some o’ dem all the way up tuh 100 and still going strong, all I could say is, “Wow! Golden guys and girls, go centenarians.”
Some o’ dem ain’t look like duh outta duh 80s far less a 100 and ovah. Well, good fuh dem and good fuh Barbados too because in the same article. The story said dat Barbados has been given a No. 2 international ranking. It went on tuh say dat only Japan got a higher percentage o’ centenarians per capita than Barbados. You could imagine dat? You could imagine dat so many people could live suh long?
You know how many lives dem live through? You could imagine the amount o’ struggles dem faced? You know how many storms dem weathered? How many children they outlived? You know how many times dem see Barbados change? These grand old folk came through the time when evahbody used tuh walk.
Then, from walking tuh riding bicycles, then  tuh driving buggies and later motor cars and now dem still living tuh see people travelling in the air; flying in big-able jet planes or sailing all over the world pon a massive cruise ship. Dat is something else.
Look, I have a friend who is in her late 60s and every time I hear her talking ’bout or tuh her mummy and daddy, I does have tuh shake my head. One, because I envy her fuh having both o’ her parents still around and the other is hearing her, this big-able woman who got grandchildren, still talking ’bout mummy and daddy and calling dem up fuh one reason or the other like she is still a li’l girl.
Her mummy and daddy would have tuh be all the way up in duh late 80s and 90s all like now and leh me tell you something, daddy does still do he farming, hear? As the old people does say, dem got ground and ya could still find he in it evah day, working it.
It is truly great tuh have so many old people still around. I know dat some young and not so young people would not think so. Some o’ dem believe dat old folk is a bother and a burden tuh dem, and so dem does discard dem.
These people doan realize dat it is because o’ these precious old folk dat we can now enjoy the kinda lives we have. Some people still suh blind dat duh doan realize dat it is the old people who still running this country, hear? The young people ain’t got nutten.
Dat article said dat 47 centenarians and 24 others, 90 tuh 99 years, were listed tuh attend the National Committee On Ageing-sponsored Celebratory Luncheon And Milestone Awards.
All I would like tuh say is this: thank you tuh all of these fine old folk who have weathered the many storms of life and have paved the way for all of us here in Barbados.
•Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.