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Today as promised, we’ll start with our newest feature of celebrating the lives of those golden citizens in our community as we take a glimpse into their lives. Too often, society views the elderly as being at the end of their life and thus having no purpose but to bide their time until the inevitable day where they cease to exist on this earth. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Just as your average person is a product of their environment, and their life experiences, the elderly are as productive as we encourage them to be. They are the generations that came before us and set a foundation for us, and as such October they will be honoured during Older Persons Month. Today, we’ll take a look at the lives of a couple who have been married for over 40 years and their love has never been any stronger. Through this we hope to start to tackle negative attitudes and out-dated stereotypes. Maria Novelo reports.

Screen_Shot_2014-09-25_at_8.22.48_PMMaria Novelo – Reporting

78 year old Ernesto Reyes and 82 year old Bernice Rufina Lamb have been inseparable for over 40 years since they got together. They live a modest life and welcomed us into their homes where they shared with us some of their fondest moments.

Bernice Lamb – Golden Citizen

“Climb trees chop fiya wood and all about in Louisiana and Mr. Castillo use to be there all in the Potrero, cow and thing use to be in there too.”

With an ever evolving world, several times we tend to outgrow our golden citizens, leaving them to fend for themselves. Despite their trials, these two have the strength to fight any trial or tribulation that they may face despite not having their families support.

Ernesto Reyes – Golden Citizen

“I tell she that whenever I close my eyes I make her know plain that when I close my eyes you burry me and three days after you done burry me then you call them you father died you know, fathers’ day come and they don’t call their mother and tell wish your father a happy father day no say nothing but I don’t build worries.”

If the youth gave the elderly people more of their time, the lives of the elderly and theirs would be enriched. Their wisdom and knowledge transcends that of any other.

Bernice Lamb – Golden Citizen

“I would advise them to keep themselves together, listen to their parents and try do the right thing because a lot of things are happening right now, this time is not like the old time days it is different right now and I would advise them to keep to themselves and open your eyes and move on the correct way.”

Ernesto Reyes – Golden Citizen

“I ask god fu help me down the line and if you don’t believe in God you are not going to make it you have to believe in God because he is the only man that can save you not one doctor can save you but God is the man to talk to help me and I go to church and ask God to help me and he help me.”

The times they spend with their extended family at Helpage participating in their events and activities bring these two closer together.

Ernesto Reyes – Golden Citizen

“Mr. Beliz da wha good man a very very good man and he treat us like a son or better than a son a very very good man and we like this get together because here we meet a lot of our people that some of them can’t help themselves and them blind.”

As treasurer of the Helpage in Orange Walk, Belizario Carballo says if you draw closer to the elderly people, you will be able to benefit from a lifetime experience, since they are oftentimes forgotten.

Belizario Carballo – Treasurer, Helpage OW

“We want to make the young people aware of the contribution of the older folks have done for the community they are the pillars of our society and so they have given a lot and they still have a lot to give, so we try to involve the young people also in our groups."

So what’s their recipe for keeping young all through these years? Nothing would be more fitting than using the Lion Kings phrase of ‘Hukuna Matata’.

Bernice Lamb – Golden Citizen

“I nor worry about nothing and I don’t worry about nobody but just keep to myself together and yes I go to church but I like my party and thing.”

The elderly population is not disposable or irrelevant, they are us in a few years and we must treat them the way we expect to be treated when we replace them in the fragile circle of our aging existence. The Orange Walk Helpage center has a golden population of over 100 persons. We’ll bring you another segment of “Golden Moments with Senior Citizens” in next week’s newscast.

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