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What happens when you are very old?

First of all, to all the ladies, pardon the picture but it was the best one I could find and I could not find a picture of a man who could relate 🙂

At my stage in life, I only have my mother and mother-in-law in my life and love them both very much.  They are both 85 years old and still living independently. My mom in a co-op apartment run by the Lutheran Church and my mother-in-law still lives in the house they purchased in 1968.

Healthwise, they both suffer.  My mom is pretty much unable to walk anymore, but gets about her apartment at a snail’s pace.  My mother-in-law has issues with diabetes and a sore on her back that will just not heal and requires a nurse to visit every other day.

My mom gets looked on from a large pool of friends within the apartment.  As family, we really appreciate these friends for they make it possible for my mom to retain her dignity within the apartment.  She has a lady come in twice a week to clean and another lady comes in twice a week to help her in the shower.  My mother-in-law suffers here more.  The friends in the neighbourhood have moved on – themselves getting older.  The neighbourhood has changed demographically – from predominately Italian (mother-in-law is Italian) to Chinese and she just does not connect.  She rarely has visitors and counts on the days when one of her five children and/or their family members comes by for a visit.

In my job, I get the joy of seeing healthy older individuals and couples.  Those that are over 100 years of age credit their single, unmarried life and those who are married credit their relationship with each other.  Funny how perspectives still matter.

The sad part is when one of these older members fall into failing health.  I have done a number of funerals.  It is said to see us falling back to the dust from which we were created, yet, the reality is an absolute and death always makes a statement about todays views on relativism.

I wonder about the blessing of old age that the Bible often refers to – especially to those who have honoured their parents.  I pray that my old age is just not that – old – but one of great health, physically and mentally, regardless of my exercise patterns or how many crossword puzzles I solve.

Worse case scenario is to be bedridden or totally exhausted.

Both, my mother and mother-in-law want God to take them home.  That part is hard to take – life is so filled without purpose or maybe with too  mmuch daily suffereing that they would love to leave this world and be with Jesus.  I suppose I understand, but my hearts yearns for them to find incredible power and purpose in prayer.  But God’s moves are not necessarily seen with the naked eye so unless prayer if coupled with incredible faith, that might be enough to want to live and be part of a revival that could change our world – whether in the lives of their grandchildren or their church family.

As I age, I see a few things changing, eyes are fading, hair is changing colour, knees ache a bit…but there is a commitment inside me that is planning to live with purpose until the day I am deemed “old.”  Prayer, writing, talking, mentoring, encouraging, and teaching would be some of the activities I could hope to be doing.  If I am old and rich – well that would be a bonus to be a philanthropist too.

For those who have honoured your parents…looking forward to living life to the fullest, in health – in body, mind and spirit.

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2 thoughts on “What happens when you are very old?

  1. I like your last paragraph. To focus on what we CAN do instead of what we cannot. Blessings to you.

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