It isn’t easy getting old.
When we were young, we thought the old folks had it easy. They were retired, could do what they wanted, go where they wanted, had unlimited time and money. And for many of us “old folks” we do have some freedom and a few dollars to do a few things we like to do. But it isn’t really unlimited in money, at least for us, and there is no question our time isn’t unlimited. The older we get the more we realize our time is limited.
For me at least, it isn’t thinking about my own mortality, though I’m particularly aware of it after a quadruple bypass less than three months ago. More recently I’ve been thinking about it because we live in an aging community. Almost every week at least one resident of SunRiver St. George passes away, as noted in the weekly email from the community center. A couple of weeks ago I served as an usher for the funeral service for a friend from bridge. Now another friend has a husband who has just been diagnosed with liver cancer, and they’re now waiting for biopsy results to tell them what kind it is and what, if anything, can be done about it.
We’ve really been hit in the last 24 hours by a call from Gail’s nephew, Steve Black, who called to tell us his mother, her only sibling, Karen Dixon, who just celebrated her 69th birthday three days ago, is in the hospital in ICU with pneumonia and on oxygen, failing kidneys, and other problems. She’s also diabetic and has had a triple bypass. It looks like she’s failing, but we naturally pray for healing for her. And if healing isn’t possible, peace and comfort for her, for her children and grandchildren, and for us and her friends.
I’ve also been reminded of how important time is by a post from Doris Markland, a friend who is 88, and has written about it recently. She said:
“Many people have put forth scientific theories regarding how our brain records our experiences and gives us our concept of time. One simple explanation is that a day in the life of a small child is long in proportion to the time he has spent on earth.. So that can explain why a day in my life now is so short.”
“Not to be discouraged. It’s like money. When we have a lot of it and a source of income, we may be tempted to spend without thought, without plan, because there will be more. When money is scarce we begin to realize our part in the scheme of things.
Nothing is more precious than time. It is all we have. Perhaps realizing it is one of the major lessons in life. And there’s no such thing as a lesson failed. It is always a lesson learned. As we say, everything comes in time.”
I heartily recommend you read the entire piece from which I quoted: “A Timely Post” and the rest of her blog as well. She has a great perspective on the world and is an excellent writer.
Meanwhile, all you “young kids” out there (meaning those under 60) think about how you’re using your time. Regardless of our age, none of us is promised tomorrow.