Tuesday 10 June, 2014 by Uncle Spike
We often hear about the ills of ‘the youth of today’, compared to those from just a couple of generations ago. Well, I agree that whilst there are many exceptions to any generalisation, that hardy bunch of folk who grew up in the 1930s to 1950s would probably beat modern youth hands down when it came to sheer tenacity.
One such example was my Aunty Doris. This grand old duchess was a fighter, and as stubborn as a mule if ever there was one worthy of such a claim. She was not a healthy lady by any stretch of the imagination, having had all sorts of ailments seriously affect her health; she had more bits removed and sewn up than I care to mention. But complain, err, nope, that just wasn’t on the cards.
Here she is with yes… Baby Spike. I was a happy little tiger by the looks of things too. And my ears were even big then by the looks of it :)
Anyway, said aunty was given a few months to live due to the state of her health. At the time, my elder brother was a toddler and when told the news, she looked at that small boy and said point blank that she would “see the lad at university”.
She did succumb to her illnesses all right. The doctors were not wrong on that score. However, she stubbornly hung on, keeping generally fit and mobile, living on her own another 15 or 16 years until my brother had indeed entered university, and then, content at this fact, she sat back, and passed away.
It just goes to show that sheer determination and bloody single-mindedness obviously pays off. I have seen this more recently too with my late wife’s mother, who was known as The Phoenix by the doctors at her loal hospital, where she basically had a ‘season ticket'; after years of acute asthma, a couple of heart attacks, partial renal failure, broken bones etc….. but she refused to ‘go’, and lived another 20 odd years. Again, as stubborn as a truck without wheels.
When we were young, I admit it, we often looked at these ‘old folk’ and considered them unworthy of praise and admiration. But, on the contrary, not only do we owe our freedom and lives to many of that generation, I believe we should also take a leaf or two out of their book.
I am a stubborn, slightly pig-headed, fighter, I know that… I refuse to grow old (or grow up even), and today, as I battle with my Ab Challenge this month, I just look at the photo above, and ask myself, “Would she have whinged or given up?” – yeah right, as if.