It’s funny how we don’t think our families do things that are newsworthy. I guess when we’re close to the action, we don’t see the impact.
I was contacted a few months ago by Marion County Department on Aging Coordinator Gayla Ratzlaff because she was looking for a photograph of my mother from the 1960s for the county senior citizens group’s 50th annual dinner. I had forgotten that my mother was the social worker hired to administer the grant that began the county senior organization.
My mother has been deceased for more than 20 years. I do recall her accomplishments when we were compiling her obituary but much time has passed and many more things have filled my brain.
A couple of weeks ago, staff writer Rowena Plett asked if I would provide information for a story she wanted to write about my mother. My mother was very special to me — no different from other mothers and children. But I didn’t realize the impact my mother’s role had on the county organization.
After being interviewed by Rowena, I again was reminded what a remarkable woman my mother was — advocating for those who often didn’t have a voice or their voices were too quiet to be heard.
I can never accomplish the things she did or affect people’s lives the way she did but I can share her belief that no one is insignificant and everyone should have an opportunity to be heard.
The most important reminder is to never underestimate the power of people who work together. Relationships of residents in neighboring communities weren’t that much different then as they are now. Yet somehow, in 1960, they found a way to put their differences aside and formed an organization.
We should follow the example of our parents and past leaders and come together for the common good of the county.
— susan berg