Gaining Perspective

Gaining Perspective

By: Shelby Diers

103-year old Legacy resident, Lucille Tonkin

When we get caught up in our day-to-day and find ourselves feeling overwhelmed, there is nothing like the feeling of gaining perspective. Ask any older adult to share their most cherished memories and you may find yourself quickly realizing there’s a lot more to life than sticking to a schedule or worrying about how you’ll ever get a particular project done. I’m lucky enough to keep myself in check daily, especially surrounded by people like Lucille Tonkin. At 103 years young, Lucille will help you appreciate the small things.

Lucille was born in 1914 on a farm 80 miles east of Salina, Kansas along with her twin sister, Lois. Two years later, twin boys were added to the mix.  No matter the circumstance, she recalls her parents always making the best out of what they had. If you ask Lucille about her mother in particular, Lucille beams as she remembers her strength, carrying two big milk buckets from the milk barn to the house, baking five loaves of bread every other day, and doing every other task necessary to keep the farm and household running.  Her eyes widen as she says, “I don’t know how she ever did it all!”

Growing up, it was easy to realize that what you had in your hands was sometimes all you would have. To her, it was normal to just have one doll to share between her and her twin sister and dirt clods were the best toys. Lucille found joy in getting together with neighbors to share produce and put together complete meals to help feed all the families on neighboring farms.

If you passed by Lucille’s apartment door at the beginning of this new year, you would have seen a sign that read “Hope ahead”. Lucille describes that as just the way she feels. “If you keep reading it, you’ll believe it.”

We want the best for the Greatest Generation and they want the best for everyone else as well, including my generation, the Millennials.  Lucille hopes that our generation can strive to be the best version of ourselves, always be honest, and push for what’s right. Sticking to those simple goals allows you to start looking at your life outside the realm of your current circumstances.

Take the time to listen and ask questions to the other generations in your life. You may be surprised at how much we all have yet to learn about each other.  Look for opportunities for us to share our experiences with them as well, so we can better each other, no matter what age.