My Mom, Sheila Arellano, was an Escalon Times staff writer for years. She created a monthly column that found humor in off beat events that happened in her life especially in her later years. Writing was her dream and she was able to pursue this passion until her passing at 84. In her seventies, she contracted macular degeneration so for months, my Dad and I took turns at the paper typing her articles. When she retired, due to semi-blindness, Marg, the Escalon Times editor was kind enough to let her continue to send in her column once a month. I felt the love of expressing one’s true self as she dictated to me what she wanted to say. Her column was about aging and dealing with the inconveniences of becoming old with a little humor thrown in. With all of her own trials, one of her biggest concerns was for other seniors who might be isolated, lonely or depressed. She cared about showing kindness and compassion to those who felt like no one cared. With this simple philosophy, I was inspired by the difference that she made while letting other seniors know that they were not the only ones who, at times, felt less than because of their age. I am now a senior and I can still hear her say, “write that down, I could do a column that would help people know that they’re not the only ones!” I thought of this the last time we went to dinner with friends our age. When the menu came out some of us, who left our glasses, who knows where, were borrowing reading glasses and a few couldn’t find theirs because they had forgotten that they had placed them on their head earlier. She would have loved this!
Society tends to forget the senior generation and how it consists of so many worthwhile people who can still contribute. We might not be able to multi task as we did in the past and maybe we tell the same story more than once or continuously look for our keys but our experiences are still worth listening to. Ignoring seniors robs our youth of the benefit of knowledge that can never be replaced and at the same time, makes us feel alone and useless. Our philosophy is that all seniors are worthy of kindness and respect. The “Fun Bunch” organizers are Ann Shaddix, Peggy Rocha, Cindy Moreno and myself, Tina Jensen. As of now we are functioning solely from donations but hope to sponsor a fund raising event in the next few months to help expand our efforts. We have an attendance of over 60 seniors each month and hope to reach more. If you are a senior or know seniors who would benefit from a fun and educational afternoon with lots of laughs, join us and coax others to join us on Wednesday, January 15, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Escalon Community Center, see you there!
Tina Jensen is a new contributor to The Times; providing a monthly Senior Corner update for those in the community.