Not Logged in.

What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

Created: 06/10/15

Replies: 17

Posted Jun. 10, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

Expert

What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

In this book, as in his previous novel A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman paints a vivid portrait of the relationship between an older person nearing the end of his or her life, and a young child. What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? How are they different? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life? What did you learn from them? 


Posted Jun. 29, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marys

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 35

RE: What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

I, like Elsa, had the world's best grandmother. Also, like Eva, she was my mother's mother and she was my rock, my advisor, my cheerleader and my favorite person. My father was seriously ill when I was young and passed away when I was only 8. My grandmother always seemed be with me when I needed her the most - this is only surprising when you learn that she lived in Chicago and we lived in CT.

She had many, many sayings but one that keeps coming back to me as I age is "once a man, twice a child." I think that as one ages, one lets go of many pretensions that seem so important when growing up, allowing one to appreciate life again as a child does. For example, my grandmother and I would dance the "Fairy's Revel" (think lots of twirling and leaping on tip-toes) in the hallway of her apartment building when the mood struck us. By the time I was a teenager, I would be mortified at the thought of doing such a thing! It would take lots of persuasion (and probably some spirits) do the same as an adult, but as a youngster and a senior, we would dance with abandon.

As we all know, everyone can learn from one another. We all are blessed with imaginations and wonderful brains that churn out ideas. The key is to be able to suspend judgment, like the young and old seem to do so well, and listen.


Posted Jun. 29, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 310

Expert

RE: What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

I second the motion of what marys wrote above. And i actually referred to my grandmother in a previous question before I even saw this one. Grandmas can be so amazingly cool, and I think granddaughters help them to feel that eternal spark of youth in their soul again, too.


Posted Jun. 30, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
donnac's Gravatar
donnac

Join Date: 03/26/14

Posts: 126

Expert

RE: What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

My paternal grandparents lived in one of the flats in our Chicago four-flat building. So we were very close. I can remember sitting on my grandfather's knee, listening to him tell stories of his time in the merchant marines. My grandmother was a wonderful cook and baker and inspired my early interest in food and cooking. I would often "run away" from home (the front flat) to my grandparents' (rear flat) and hide from my dad under my grandmother's down comforter. She and I shared many secrets and stories. My youth was so much richer for their presence.


Posted Jul. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothym

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 32

RE: What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

I had a different experience - one set of grandparents gone and the other oblivious. I used to read books about great relationships with grandparents and decided if I ever had the chance I was going to be one of those. I hope I have succeeded and I do have great relationships with all my grandchildren now - I remember hearing that the reason that children and grandparents were so close was that they had a common enemy - don't believe that but I do think it's possible to have a different relationship when you aren't the person who is responsible for the kids.


Posted Jul. 02, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lesleym

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 34

RE: What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

Older folks have experience and patience on their side. Younger people have enthusiasm, urgency and a thirst for all things new. These opposite groups have the ability to fill in the gap(s) for what the other is lacking. My grandparents were there for me as a role model, with thoughtful words and love and gave sage advice.


Posted Jul. 03, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 278

Expert

RE: What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

Grandparents often have the humor, hindsight, patience and time that it takes to be a real friend. Grandkids help to remind us how magical and full of possibility the world is to a child. I had a rather eccentric grandmother that I think about to this day. I stayed with her every summer and we did everything including painting, climbing trees, camping in the yard, collecting tadpoles and even eating raw cookie dough. The time I spent with her was all my time. I try to do this with my grandkids as well, but find that technology has gotten in the way a bit.


Posted Jul. 04, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 229

Expert

RE: What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

I believe some older people can take a turn at being young when around very young people. There's not much judgement from the other side. And every scene in life is learning.

As for me, an elder person wasn't around when I was a child. My grandpa lived a few months with my family when I was in junior high. Mainly because my mother was resentful and he was on his way to senility, his influence was minimal on a face-to face basis.


Posted Jul. 04, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
louisee

Join Date: 06/29/15

Posts: 72

Expert

RE: What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

The very old and very young have time. A grandmother can share an enjoyable experience with her grandchildren she had with her own children. The very young can show the very old how to enjoy what is around them. As parents we don't always have the time and patience to slow down and enjoy the little things in life as the very young and old do.


Posted Jul. 06, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katf

Join Date: 03/14/12

Posts: 6

RE: What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

I think both ends of the life spectrum are very freeing. When you are young like Elsa, there is nothing you can't do or try. The world is your oyster and anything is possible. When you are older like her grandmother, you have the knowledge, patience, humor and a kind of "screw it, what can they do to me?" attitude. I think that is why people reaching 50 or 60 generally accept it a lot easier than people at 30 or 40 years old.


Posted Jul. 06, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kenanr

Join Date: 02/20/14

Posts: 16

RE: What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

I think that children are simply presented with their reality by grown-ups and they accept it. Seniors - understand that life's trappings and societal rules are largely superfluous. Both see life as simple - one not yet understanding gray areas and the other no longer necessarily caring about them. Grandparents have the luxury of not having to turn a child into a responsible human being and are therefore free to enjoy the child and allow him to exist in a world with fewer constraints. Both are able to live in the moment without worrying about acceptable behavior and appearances. I spent a good deal of my childhood at my Grandparents home in rural North Carolina with my brother and my cousins. I licked many a cake bowl clean, pulled wagon loads of children behind a 1936 Alice Chalmers tractor, ate grapes off the vine, climbed trees, played dress-up in the attic, and dug for treasure with Grandma's good silver serving spoons. We never wondered if we were "not allowed to do that". Grandparents really don't sweat the small stuff and kiddos don't really know what the small stuff is.


Posted Jul. 07, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beac

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 70

Expert

RE: What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

The only older person I knew was the lady down the street, that the other kids called a witch. She did look like one. She knew all about growing things and cooking and loved her cats. I think it made a difference about how I looked at gardening and cooking and especially how to love animals.


Posted Jul. 08, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
keizerfire

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 20

RE: What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

I love Elsa's grandmother. My own maternal grandmother was not a happy person, and she seemed to enjoy making those around her unhappy too. However, when she was in her final years, and my grandson was small (her greatgrandson), the two of them together were a light for my heart. The way she was with him was the way I always wanted her to be with me. She seemed able to just enjoy his enthusiasm for the world, and his unguarded delight in seeing her. Whatever it was, he loved her too, and when she was passing, she held on for a long time....and we finally brought him to give her a love and tell her goodbye. Despite having not opened her eyes for more than 24 hours, she opened them and told him she loved him, and she passed with an hour after that. He was five, and all he has of her are good memories. The old and the young seem to be at a place in life where the young don't know what is coming ahead, and the old simply don't care anymore, so maybe that's a way for them to connect in life. My paternal grandmother was very special to me, and she passed on to me all the old ways of doing things such as canning, baking, sewing, knitting and crocheting, and just letting things be. She taught me how to sit quietly and quilt on the front porch, listening to the birds and the cidadas and the frogs, while we shared time together. That's what I miss, is just being with her.


Posted Jul. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annettes

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 16

RE: What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

I now live in a three generation home. My husband and I enjoy teaching our two grandchildren about many things, like gardening and cooking. Several responses mention that many parents do not have time to share their knowledge with their children. This is so true, and it was the same with us and our two children. Being grandparents and living together gives us a chance to share ideas, and knowledge that we didn't share with our own children.


Posted Jul. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annettes

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 16

RE: What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

To Keizerfire - what a thoughtful and heartwarming response. I witnessed many interactions just like you wrote about between my youngest granddaughter and mother-in-law who was a very disagreeable person. She lived to be 99 and never seemed to ever have a happy moment. But for some reason from the time my granddaughter was about two years old, she seemed to be the only one who could make Grandma smile and even laugh at times. It's too bad there was only one who could reach her in this way. I was saddened when Elsa's Granny died and they lost the tremendous relationship they had with each other. They were like two parts of a whole.


Posted Jul. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 83

Expert

RE: What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

Like many readers, this book brings back all the great memories of a grandmother. Mine was extremely well-educated and yet her marriage did not bring her the life she deserved. There is much to learn about kindness, life's expectations, and how to find joy in the simpler things on earth.


Posted Jul. 16, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Sooz

Join Date: 07/29/14

Posts: 40

RE: What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

I could easily walk to my grandmother's house and I did so often. She taught me how to sew,crochet and make homemade taffy which was so much fun. She was happy that I enjoyed spending time with her and doing things together was a treat for both of us. She loved telling me stories about my mom's growing up years and we had fun laughing about some of her "escapades". I still miss her even though she has been dead a good many years. I would say she was one of my favorite elderly mentors and I feel sorry for some of today's grandchildren who seldom see their grandparents often due to their living far away from one another.


Posted Jul. 20, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 203

Expert

RE: What can people at the opposite ends of life learn from one another? How are the very old and the very young alike in some ways? When you were very young, was there an elderly person who played a significant role in your life?

Old people can see life through the eyes of a child and be reminded of things lost to thought. Younger children can learn a lot from older people's experiences and mistakes.


Reply

Please login to post a response.