Thinking back to the toys I had as a kid in the late sixties and early seventies, they were all of adorable animals and babies, buff and sexy Barbie dolls and magical creatures that could do anything. Somehow, they all seemed better versions of me. I was too young to understand how such toys offered a narrow view of opportunities I could pursue when I "grew up."
It was clear to me that growing up meant staying in ones mid-twenties forever. I can't recall a single instance of a toy that depicted an elderly person or even one that was middle-aged. When I meet an elderly person, it always seemed as if they were from another planet. If living a long life was something to celebrate, why were TV shows mostly of young beautiful people and all the heroes in the fairy tales I loved just starting out in life?
Yet, look at how these vibrant survivors transcend their physical limitations and continue on their way with a sense of purpose. This is why when I saw these happy elderly people gamely making their way in the world, I found myself wanting to know what their story was -- and suspecting it could be my story too someday.
~ Michelle Schwartbach
Michelle Schwartzbach with one of her two babies.