Old people are now my peer group. That’s a distinction that still startles me . . .
“It’s [old age] not a surprise, we knew it was coming – make the most of it. So you may not be as fast on your feet, and the image in your mirror may be a little disappointing, but if you are still functioning and not in pain, gratitude should be the name of the game.” ― Betty White, If You Ask Me
Now, my peer group and I are as varied as we ever were in the Sixties; however we aren’t as many.
So, we still can use a little help.
Old people, cute as we are, need all kinds of help — from appliances to patience to courage.
More often, it’s harder to hear what others are saying; other times, it’s not easy to find the right words. So, we aren’t such sparkling raconteurs and may grow impatient with others who seem dull.
Increasingly, our bodies will not do what our brain directs: we can’t quickly move. And sometimes, the outcome frustrates others and us.
Saying good bye routinely to people, places, and things can rob of us of our charm.That’s maybe the hardest part of this season, and the reason we need courage.
Help for Me
Even in our crazy times, and with our aging frames.
Help for Me and My Peer Group
Maybe, you have seen this prayer —but it was a refreshing reminder to keep editing my thoughts and words — to keep me connected to the loved ones who are in different ages and stages.
“Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess:
Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.
Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples’ affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it.
But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.
Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.
Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains — they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.
I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn’t agree with that of others.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.
Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint — it is so hard to live with some of them — but a harsh old person is one of the devil’s masterpieces.
Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so.
Like compost, weakness and defeat seem rotten on the surface. But underneath, they are rich soil in which lasting fruit can be planted, nourished, and harvested. All good and lasting fruit begins at the hem of Jesus’s garment. (Luke 8:40-48) (There’s a Crack in Everything, Scott Sauls)
*You may be part of my peer “group” if you know who Betty and Veronica are –were.