Have you given much thought to growing old? Have you thought about what your days will be like if God grants you a long life? Will living into your 80’s, 90’s and beyond be a blessing or a curse? Only time will tell. And believe me, it will be here before you know it.
Our most precious gift of time is fleeting. It’s like being on a runaway train, once your on board the life express there’s no stopping it until it runs out of fuel. I remember when I was a teen I thought 30 was old. Then suddenly I was 30 and realized its not so old after all, and so 60 became the new old. Well now I’m 62 and guess what? I don’t think it’s that old either. I read somewhere that 50 is the new 30 and if that’s the case then 60 must be the new 40! It must be true, because I don’t feel all that different from when I was 40. I don’t think there’s that much that I did at 40 that I can’t do today, but 20 years does make a difference and I can’t do those things nearly as long or as well as I did then, and in some cases I pay the price the following day for even trying, oh yeah do I pay for it!
At 60 I now see 85 and above as being old. I suppose, depending on health and other factors old can happen sooner, but having my dad live with us the past two and a half years has given me some insight into aging. He’s 90 and has slowed down significantly the last few years. Two years and seven months ago he was still living on his own and able to drive. Less than two weeks later he was told by his doctor that he could no longer do either. He is now completely reliant on his walker and has constant pain in his knees. It’s tough seeing him this way. His long career as a lumber truck driver has taken it’s toll on his knees and shoulders, all those years of tossing chains and ropes to secure loads, climbing on and off of his rig and double clutching have taken their toll. Thankfully he still has his mind. No dementia or Alzheimer’s. He has been exhibiting a bit of short term memory loss lately, but not too badly thank God.
After breakfast my dad begins each day with a thorough reading of his newspaper the ‘Daily Tribune’. He reads each and every page, every column, article and all the ads. He also has a host of magazines and reading materials. And while he reads the TV is usually blaring in the background. His hearing has gone south and though he’s got good hearing aids, he rarely puts them on. Yeah, when he gets tired of reading he just looks up from the paper and watches TV. It’s usually always on the western channel, he loves his cowboys. But every so often he likes to watch the old shows on Me TV. I only wish he could handle the remote with a bit more accuracy but at 90 I suppose all the buttons can get confusing.
Although my dad has the run of the house in the last year or so he has chosen to stay in his room most of the time. With his bad knees getting around can be pretty painful. Its easy to understand why he prefers the comfort of his lift chair, his TV and his newspaper. He does get some exercise though, he uses his stretch bands religiously while he’s watching TV and when he’s not using the bands he’s pedaling off to nowhere on his pedaling device. He must have pedaled a thousand miles by now.
My dad’s room is in the front of the house and from his chair he can see the entire block all the way to the end of the street. He likes being able to see whats going on. Sometimes when he’s looking out the front window he reminds me of Mrs. Kravetts from the old Bewitched TV show! Raylene also placed a bird feeder and a bird bath right outside his window. he really enjoys watching all the birds outside. It may not sound like much but he’s doing fine.
So what do you think the future holds for you? Think about it some time. Will the golden years truly be golden? Will you be one of the lucky ones who grow old graciously and retain all your mental faculties or will you be a blithering idiot who cant remember a damn thing and just sit around vegged out? Hey I know it sounds cruel, but I’m not trying to be mean or poke fun at the elderly, God knows each and everyone of us is on our way there, I’m just being a realist.
The prospect of getting old can be scary. With all the talk in the news of Alzheimer’s, dementia, not to mention rheumatoid arthritis, and other crippling ailments, you can’t help but worry about what the future may have in store. Maybe God will smile favorably on you and you’re health and mind will not fail you. You’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime take good care of yourself, you may have a long road ahead.