Getting old (Part 3 of 3 Parts)

Published by rudy Date posted on April 16, 2009

So what are old people to do? The inevitability of death is creeping up on them they cannot run from it for there is nowhere to run. Instead, they have no choice but to look at it in the eye and stare it down. This, even if they do all within the limits of their failing strength.

At our Nazareth Formation House where I spend most of my time, we wake the residents every morning with the phrase “The Lord has given us another day.” Sleepy-eyed, they fall out of their bunks and reply, “Thank you, Lord.”

Each new day is a blessing—24 more hours of life to be lived as meaningfully as possible. When you are young, you can reasonably look forward to many more days, thousands even. You feel you can afford to waste a few.

Not so when you are old and you can see the sun beginning to set. Now, every day is like a reprieve, almost like a new lease on life. Like when your medical exam for a possible life-threatening disease is negative. That sigh of relief says it all.

Nobody has found the fountain of youth. Even if we have, as a species, never lived longer, still the additional years only postpone the inevitable. But if you can take a positive view of the inevitable and stop mourning your demise prematurely, you can live the remaining days, years, more fully and more meaningfully than ever.

Time is more precious than now. Priorities become clearer than ever. Loving those who are deserving of your love is at the top of your to-do list. Forgiving past conflicts is up there too. Doing those little things that make spouse and family members happy becomes more important. Since you have cleared your calendar of the less important things, you have more quality time to give away to those you have perhaps neglected in the past.

Time to spend long hours and share memories and get excited over the plans of your children and grandchildren. Time to dream dreams with them and share the wisdom of experience and age. Time to get personal in ways you never before dared. After all, there isn’t much to lose and so much to gain by doing so.

If the Angel of Death was about to knock on your door, but God would stop him and tell you that you are given an extra month, how would you spend it? Whatever you would do then, you should do now. Cherish every moment and make every day a meaningful day.

If you have problems about drugs, alcohol and behavior/attitude call my office at 820-6107 or 825-1771 or e-mail me at goldenvalues or write me at P.O. Box 2099 MCPO, Makati City.  –Bob Garon, Manila Times

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