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Every Generation Serves As a Bridge!


Q: Researchers have now documented the fact that four generations of Americans now live together for the first time in history. We, as great-grandparents, are thankful to be among them.

We have five great-grandchildren. Our family keeps an eye on our well-being, health, and needs. We enjoy celebrating birthdays and holidays as a family. Lately we have been having thoughts about our having become more of a burden than contributors to our family.

Do others have similar thoughts, and if so, how best can we overcome our feelings?

A: Yes, they do. But you need to reevaluate your attitude. You are and represent that indispensable bridge which binds generations. Only you are available to do so.

Assume credit for loving, raising and educating your children. Being available for family knowledge, to answer questions, to identify individuals in your photo books and have the option to handhold any family members who need support and help with other issues.

You are the family encyclopedia and know what your dad's first car was, your families' habits and passion, your mom's secret to making a lemon pie, where they lived, etc.

Health information can be invaluable. Did a family member pass because of a heart attack, cancer, accident or tuberculosis? Who married and divorced? Did anyone serve in the military, or were physically handicapped?

Recently, I corralled my grandchildren and discussed how my 13-year-old mother and older dad happily raised my brother and me during the depression.

They were also unaware that my paternal grandfather rode a horse into Indian Territory after a gun signal was given in the hope of being given 20 acres of free land. He received it, and it became a part of Oklahoma. Afterwards he gave his land to a widow with six children when she was unable to claim her own!

These kinds of family discussions are a major contribution to families. Share them so they will be remembered and not forgotten!

This simply proves that each generation can be helpful in filling in the blanks from their heritage.


Q: The use of our common sense is not well-defined and often we choose the wrong decision. Occasionally our decision backfires and unhappiness and trauma result. We should have known better! Why do we let ourselves do so?

A: Many common-sense, unhappy decisions are caused by individuals choosing knee-jerk reactions and not thoroughly considering the results. It takes time and experience to evaluate what the right thing to do is, and then focus on doing so.

While the most successful way to make decisions is to calmly react to what occurs, do not made an immediate reaction or strike back until you feel comfortable that you are doing the best you can. Afterwards, you will feel more comfortable when you realize you have won your battle!

Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California Retirement community. Contact him at Betty is a friend of Doug Mayberry, whom she helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at



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