A Heart-Healthy Tonic

Within twenty-four hours, May worked her magic, and the knock-out roses exploded with color – no fragrance. Their color, however, is so lush it jogged pleasant memories of soft, sweet smells.

I’ve taken many photos of roses – so many of our Dallas rose bed – planted and cultivated by an earlier owner. Then, a vestige of a climbing rose bush greeted us and is an anchor in a new Maryland bed.


Maryland & Texas Roses

A long time ago, I “inherited” a rose bed – carefully planted and cultivated. However, that grand inheritance didn’t include knowledge and zeal. I didn’t know how to care for it properly, and in time, those roses did not flourish. I have no pictures. But , the memory of the Japanese beetles and black spot nags.

Ignorance ruins more than flowerbeds.

Combined with a lack of zeal — a.k.a. sluggishness — it withers health, strength, and purpose. Coulda, shoulda, woulda is how I conjugate so many memories of choices I made. But I still have a pulse; so, I still have a purpose – and it isn’t to moan, self- flagellate, or lash out at others.

So, as I am searching the Internet for better ways to care for this year’s garden, I am reading what others write about tending their souls through the tests that old age maturity.


Humor’s tonic

Peg Bracken and Irma Bombeck  are a never disappointing tonic.

Maybe age is kinder to us than we think. With my bad eyes, I can’t see how bad I look, and with my rotten memory, I have a good excuse for getting out of a lot of stuff. ~ Erma Bombeck

It is important to remember that these are your Declining Years, in which you can jolly well decline to do what you don’t feel like doing, unless not doing it would make you feel worse than doing it. ~ Peg Bracken

Still growing older is like being given a great gift without foolproof instructions on what to do when reality looms large. Grateful I am that God’s promise is fruitfulness even in old age — another tonic.

You can stay young as long as you learn. – Emily Dickinson

I am currently reading A Good Old Age by Derek Prime: an alphabetic primer for finding a way through those valleys we have seen others walk. I haven’t gotten very far; I am still on A for ACCEPTANCE.

“When I begin to hang one to such things that I begrudge their absence, I must say to myself, ‘Beware.’” (page 20)

Moaning about my losses, real and imagined, is a fancy way to whine. Whining backs friends off, and angers God.

Who needs to borrow that  trouble at this age?

Yet, so many new trials erupt! But, if I fight against what I can’t control – like the indignities, embarrassments and infirmities old age brings — I will deplete my reserves to enjoy God’s mercies that are new every morning.

Dear reader – It’s true old age comes at inconvenient times. Mine is arriving just as I am figuring out stuff I never understood. Nevertheless, old age and all its inconveniences can’t keep us from praying! Prayer is one mighty weapon we can wield in these crazy times, even with hurting hearts  with all the tonic spring is in an autumn’s garden!

So, here’s a prayer the octogenarian author of A Good Old Age suggests for a more accepting attitude of all that comes in an autumn’s garden:

Lord, enable me to accept all my circumstances are ordained by You for my good.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who has created and redeemed me, You know what to do with me. Do with me according to Your will, for Your mercy’s sake. Amen (Henry IV) (page 21)



Share this: