Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I am going to talk about being old and getting older. Fr. Stan suggested I write a book about it. I can't do that, beacause it is different for everyone. But I can say that, while I am not in great shape, I fully expect to get better and I am glad to be alive. Dead will be ok, too. I know where I will be, but life is to be enjoyed. I have many wrinkles, too much weight and what seems to e a ton of ailments, but that is ok, too. Mostly because it has to be. I could lose the weight, and wrinkles are ok with me, but the ailments I can do without.

Our children want us to go to the ER for every twinge we have. Actually they are more realistic than that. When Dad fell last week, the first question from everyone was 'did you go to the hospital?' Well, no. I got him in the bed and checked him over and figured I would give him time. We both have seen the doctor since, and he is having lots of tests. It's hard for me to realized he is nearly 85 - soon we'll have a 46th anniversary. And kids, I promise I will call the ambulance when I need to.

But back to my original premise, getting old means a great many changes. Some are welcome, as in resting a lot more, and some are very frustrating. I had to have much help to get my teeny garden in order this year, I have to make allowances for pain control and shortness of breath. Lots of both of them. I practically live in this TENS unit, and I thank God for it. And, of course, my brain just won't work the way it once did. We both tried to remember the name for raw fish and it wouldn't come. Usually it does, at least by tomorrow. But I wanted to finish the crossword I was doing. That part is still blank, but I will remember it eventually.

I've always heard that old age is not for sissies. Actually it is, it just means more adaptation to the limitations that exist. If you can't adapt, you won't make it. You also need to find things to laugh at. Laughter really helps. Sometimes I watch Caddyshack over, just to laugh. Or look at the old movies of my my kids learning to manage roller skates. I've given up dreaming about climbing trees and accepted that this isn't going to happen again in this life. Neither is racing the little sailboat just ahead of a fast moving squall, with George on the beach waiting to help me get it in and readied for a blow. I really loved it, though.

I have more time to ponder God and all His glories, and to read about Him. Only I read a book the other day by an author who keeps asking 'who is God?'. I finally decided if he didn't know, I didn't think I would read his book. I now have the time to let soak in the things that Fr. Stan teaches me, and time to reflect on them. I'm working at teaching three Bible studies right now and love learning each week from that. I'm always amazed at what I don't know. I now have some CD's of Fr. Stan's sermons. As visual a learner as I am, I find I need to hear them several times to really 'get it'.

So --- while old age is physically challenging, and sometimes mentally, it's not so bad. Stick around and try it yourselves. I think you'll like it, even as you adjust for it. I am grateful for my cane, and sometimes my walker. And when the electric chair becomes part of my life, as I am told it will, I will be glad to have that. I see people out in our retirement community who are joyful to be alive and some who are miserable. We don't go around the miserable ones. Actually, we mostly go to church. Everybody there is joyful.

Enough of this - love God, be happy and roll with the punches and you'll make it just fine.

3 hours later - Sushi!!!


Mary Beth said...

Sushi! That's the name for raw fish. Sashimi is raw fish cured in lemon or vinegar. :)

Forgive us for the ER suggestions. When there is an emergency and I am far away, I want SOMEONE else to be there to help you...and sometimes it seems like the ER is the right resource. Remember that we don't always think of the right thing to do...even between the two of us!

The bottom line is: are you safe where you are? How can we make sure of that? What plans do we need to have in place if the current situation changes so that it's not safe any longer? Contingency planning. :)

You two have taken such good care of us over the years. We want to do our best to do the same for you.

Barbara B said...

I always learn so much from your blog postings. It is difficult for us "kids" to be far away when y'all need a helping hand on the spot with a problem. Always know you can count on us.

MJ said...

Raw fish was the clue and sushi was the answer. How frustrating to have a word dance about in your head and not be able to get it out of your mouth.
I promise to call the ambulance when we need it. I think we are in pretty good shape for safety. Isleep with the call button for Dad and daily I wear the one for the ER people. There are safer places, and I am checking them out just in case :). We will discuss when you are here. I know we can count on you all, and I base my security on knowing that. Thanks for all you do. And Barbara, thanks for what you do. I know i can call you all if we need you and you will come. Blessings.

Sarah said...

I too, am concerned for you both. I think we need some familial dialogue about the what ifs.