In some ways I have been disappointed in my old age. Someone said, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were? The problem with that is I know how old I am. Everything hurts and what doesn’t hurt, doesn’t work. The gleam in your eyes is from the sun hitting your trifocals. You feel like the night before but you haven’t been anywhere. Your little black book contains only names that end in M.D. You get winded playing chess. Your children begin to look middle aged. You finally reached the top of the ladder, and found it leaning against the wrong wall. You decide to procrastinate but you never got around to it. Your mind makes contracts that your body cannot keep. You know all the answers but nobody asks you any of the questions. The favorite part of the paper is “Today 40 Years Ago.” You turn out the lights for economic not romantic reasons. You sit in a rocking chair and can’t get it going. You knees buckle and your belt won’t. You look back on life and regret all those times you resisted temptation. Dialing long distance wears you out. You begin “burning the midnight oil” after 9 p.m. Your back goes out more than you do. Your pacemaker makes the garage door go up when you watch a pretty girl go by. You spend money you don’t have to buy things you don’t need to keep up with people you don’t even like.
Whoever wrote those words sure had an understanding of old age. I read a comment in the paper the other day that defined “Old”. “I can live with my bifocals, my dentures fit me fine; I’m happy with my hearing aids, but I sure do miss my mind.”
On the other hand I have really enjoyed my retirement. After 60 years of speaking trying to save the world, I can now sit on the porch and be quiet. Did you know you can buy four frozen pizzas for five dollars? I think it is the general breakdown of health that bothers me. I won the championship in tennis in college days, and now I can’t even pick up a racket. I played all the sport but now I just watch them on T.V.
One blessing of old age is in reading. I read before but only what I had to. I discover personal reading when I found one of the books written by John Grisham. I just went to my library shelf to be sure I spelled his name right. He got me started in “reading just for fun”. My latest author that I follow is Michael Phillips. I have been through six of his latest books and have now begun to read them again. That is a high compliment for I have never done that before. Great writers thrill me with their innate ability to write fiction and make it seem real.
One of the greatest thrills of being old is living with your one and only wife for nearly 60 years. She is still the most beautiful woman I have ever known. To put up with me for that length of time is a marvel. Love is the answer, forgiveness is the key and joy is the result.
(My prayer for older people is… O Lord you know us far better than we know us… This is another time when temptations come with thoughts of worthlessness, and hopelessness. These are times as you know so well, when so many fail in commitments to each other and especially to You. O Lord, please hold us (old folks) in your loving arms. Keep us from sin and help us grow in your grace. When we get discouraged and disheartened, just help us remember your love, your grace and mercy. For we are so weak, and sinful… O dear Lord, help us to continue being a blessing to our families, friends and others who need encouragement. In the end O Father, bring us home to be with you. In Jesus Name…)
One of the most wonderful things is our legacy. I refer now to our 17 grandchildren, and our 8 great grand children. At our age they make us feel so glad two ways – Glad to see them come and glad to see them go. Just kidding and when you can’t kid, what is life all about anyway?