As I continue to lose loved ones and friends from my parents’ generation, I slowly realize that I am getting close to being the older generation, and in some instances, I’m already there.
Getting older is not for the faint of heart. There are things that you lose and things that you gain physically that make it hard to recognize the person in the mirror every morning.
Wrinkles, dry skin where it used to be oily, love handles and sometimes really big love handles on parts of your body that really shouldn’t have handles.
Getting old is hard on your body… and mind.
Things get forgotten that you once remembered without trying.
Names get lost in what is left of your mind.
It gets harder to remember lists or why you walked into a room, or where you left your keys or phone, or glasses, or what you needed from the store that you didn’t write down because you would remember. (This list gets longer as I remember things….get it?….as I remember…..)
People also expect you to know and have experienced everything in history. Kids will ask you, “Were there dinosaurs around when you were born?” Some young people will come to you for wisdom just because of your age. Age does tend to make us wiser, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we have wisdom.
Getting old is also hard on your heart. Yes, your physical heart, but also your emotional heart. Seeing loved ones go through hard times. Death taking grandparents, parents, friends, and something even children. The pain that one endures takes a toll on your heart.
I could go on about the downfalls of ageing.
But there are some advantages to getting older.
When you body physically can’t do what it used to do, you can get away with asking people for help and actually getting it. Some people will allow you to go first or give you their seat if you are older. At least that’s how I was raised. And there are a few young people still out there like that. You will never have to carry a heavy box or package again, as long as there is someone younger around. Young people will believe you when you say, ”I’m just too tired to do that right now.”
Another benefit is the experience you gain and the lessons you learned. As a Christian, the lessons the Lord has taught me through my 52+ years are invaluable and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
God has taught me patience when waiting for an answer from Him. (Something I learned a long time ago not to ask for – patience. God tends to help you learn it by having you endure something that requires it. So- yeah- not asking for that again).
God has taught me compassion. Helping a friend in need or being in need myself and being helped by someone has taught me to have compassion. I grew up going to funerals of every distant relative who died. So I was used to them when I started losing my grandparents. My husband first attending a funeral with me when my grandmother passed away. He had not been to many since then and never really understood the importance of attending the visitation before the funeral. When my mom died, the number of people and friends who came to visitation and the funeral really surprised him and meant so much more to him than he ever would have imagined. Since then, he has really learned the value of those brief moments spent with someone at a funeral home as they lay their love ones to rest. My husband has always been compassionate, but God used this to take his compassion to a whole new level, and He has reminded me to show compassion to those who are in need.
God has taught me to love. His love for me is the greatest example of how to love- especially someone who is hard to love. I recall a conversation I shared just a few days ago with a former student as we ooed and awed ov
er her newborn. I told her when I was expecting my first child, I wondered about the love of a mother. When would I get it? Is it something I have to learn and practice? But the minute I heard the cries of my baby girl, a love washed over me that no one can explain. Then , having experienced that love and the magnitude of it, I was concerned about having another child. How could I possibly have this much love for another child? Where would I take it from? But God, (I love that phrase) in His infinite wisdom and grace, showed me. The minute I found out I was expecting again, that wave of love was there for that little child growing inside me. My love instantly multiplied; it multiplied enough for both of my children.
I could go on about everything that God has taught me, but then this would be really long and you would have stopped reading by now. 🙂