On our reservation, the elders are highly respected. To be an elder, one must be involved with the Longhouse (religion, traditional, God, Creator), one must speak the native language fluently, and one must be over the age of 65.
Some of our elders are well into their 90s, and they begin to behave like children again. This is just joyful to me, as I work a lot with elders, gathering history.
My mom told me: "When I get old and start to go dingy, don't tell me...just let me go dingy like nothing's wrong!"
Strange thing is, when the elders are being silly, they can also speak words that are hammer-to-nail direct and true.
I guess I can look around the corner and see that I am not to far away from what you all talk about. If it counts for anything there is longevity in my family as my mom and aunt lived passed their 90's. My only prayer is that the Lord keeps me strong and healthy but we do not know what the future holds. I must live day by day thanking my Saviour for the rising of another sunrise.