Thinking is a valuable and fun pastime. Here are a few thoughts for today:
Every moment that we are aware of the gift of simply being, with or without activity, is well lived. Catherine Ingram
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. Einstein
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. Plato
Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search of it when he has grown old. For no age is too early or too late for the health of the soul. Epicurus
Don’t just say you have read books. Show that through them you have learned to think better, to be a more discriminating and reflective person. Epictetus
Other things to think about: things we cannot see…air, wind, nothing.
Empty space is not really empty, it is filled with air.
Recently I had occasion to be in the company of some dear friends who personify kindness in all they say and do. They treated another friend and me to a night out of dinner and theater where we were all enthralled by an amazing performance of Handle’s Messiah.
When it was time to leave the theater we encountered an elderly couple making their way to the outdoors where they would be picked up by their daughter. My friends immediately took these people under their wing and spoke encouragingly to them as we waited in the cold night air for their transportation to arrive.
Now, we are a group of four of which I am the eldest at eighty-one, while my companions are still in their seventies…mere babes. The elderly couple were eighty-eight and ninety, she with a cane, and he, a rollator walker. When these dear folks were safely tucked into their daughter’s van with the help of my friends, we continued on our way to the subway which would be our means of transportation for the better part of the return home.
One of us seniors also uses a cane for temporary support and was the first to enter the slightly crowded train. As we stepped into the warmth of the subway car, four multi-cultural youths immediately and simultaneously stood up to offer us their seats.
It was the perfect ending to an evening which started with kindness and ended with the instant kindness of these four young people of various ethnic backgrounds.
It was truly a happy experience to be long remembered and I am smiling just relating it here.
“I can barely tolerate my parents, now.” This from a middle aged woman I met in a supermarket not long ago. I was reaching for an item on a top shelf and she, being much taller, retrieved it for me. She asked if there was anything else I needed. The woman then guided me to the next item I had trouble finding.
“You are a geriatric person. I can tell,” I commented.
“Not really,” she said. And that was when she offered the opening comment, “I can barely tolerate my parents, now.They are in their eighties and showing their age.”
Yesterday, I read a post by Roger Baker, “The Worth of a Man”. It’s a tribute to a man celebrating his eightieth birthday and how some people have shunted him to the back burner of their lives. https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/24904117
And to those people he wrote a poem where one line stood out for me. “You spurn the soul what made you.”
“You spurn the soul what made you.” There is so much truth in that tiny sentence, as proven by the woman in the supermarket.
Some of us in this age bracket are noticing this phenomenon and wondering…what are we worth?
Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. Psalm 71:9 NIV
It was my privilege once again to attend funerals for two members of my church, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, Scarborough. One took place on Saturday, April 22nd and the other on Monday, April 24th. The only significant difference in the lives of these two people, besides their gender, was their age. Alfred was in his 102nd year and Debra had just turned sixty.
The love, admiration, and accolades directed to these two wonderful people by their friends and families left the rest of us wishing we had known them better while at the same time conveying the feeling that we knew them well.
Debra had been an operating room nurse, well known for her caring ways, sunny smile and warm hugs. She was also known for her tenacity in dealing with health problems, and for continuing to love unconditionally in the face of all adversity.
Alfred, had been active all of his life and even at the age of one-hundred-and-one, was still doing aerobics, walking, and standing tall and straight. Our Pastor remarked that when Alfred walked down the aisle to his familiar pew, everyone else automatically straightened their posture.
As end-of-life celebrations can be, these two were so inspirational that one could not help but offer congratulations along with condolences to the loved ones left behind; congratulations for having shared in the lives of these two remarkable people.
Condolences to congratulations…it was so fitting to offer both.
Only car buffs and/or oldsters like me will know what a rumble seat is. As a youngster, it was special fun to ride in the rumble seat of my uncle’s Model A Coupe. The car was born in 1931 I think, and I came along on this day in 1937. I was all of four years old when Uncle Walter tossed me gently into the outside back seat of the car and told me to “stay put”. (And he thought I would go where?)
And now I’m in the rumble seat again, travelling the final miles on the highway of life. Although the road has not always been smooth with its bumps, detours, hills, and valleys, it’s been a wonderful journey. I’m hoping my road map has many miles left as I coast along in the rumble seat of life.
One of my favourite scriptures is Psalm 128:6 “May you live to see your children’s children…” I have lived to see not only my children’s children but my children’s children’s children.
Little did I know that a four-year-old me would ride that rumble seat into my eighth decade of life. TYG!
I met a gentleman recently who has just begun his ninth decade. He was tall and fairly straight with only a slight stoop in the shoulder area. It was obvious that his hearing was dependent on aids and it was evident that he was making an effort to zone in on the conversations around him. We were at a social gathering where most of us knew each other and he knew no one except the host…or had maybe met a couple of us briefly at a previous function.
He made sure he talked to each person at this gathering, men and women alike. When it came to my turn, he showed me a slip of paper with each person’s name and who was with whom. Beside my name was “poetess” (he had obviously been briefed) and we were off and running on the topic of poetry and poets and his interest in studying logic and related topics. He was a delightfully interesting person and left an impression me.
Ninety years old…and yet looking into his eyes there was a fountain of interest and knowledge and life…a sparkle that belied his chronological age.
One can tell a lot about a person’s sincerity by their eyes. It is said that the eyes are the windows of the soul and perhaps that is why they hold a certain fascination for me. I love seeing people have “eye to eye” conversations, though with some people there is so much going on behind the eyes that it is sometimes difficult to feel engaged.
But of the delightful gentleman in question, I can definitely and unequivocally say, “the eyes have it.”
The other day I caught myself humming a song recorded by Connie Francis in 1959, My Happiness. It was one of my favorites of the time and it popped into my head on Wednesday, January 6th. Why? Because I was feeling very happy. It was my birthday. I’m always happy on my birthday and look forward to it every year. This birthday was kind of special in that it was the first day of the last year of the seventh decade of my life. Am I happy to be saying good-bye to the seventies? Not so much, knowing there are fewer years ahead of me, but there is also a whole new decade coming up, in which, God willing, I hope to experience even more happiness.
For one thing there is a brand new family member coming to meet me in July, my eighth great-grandchild expected on July 3rd. Also, another one of my grandchildren is getting married in 2016, setting the scene for even more great-grandchildren.
Having had a few weeks of unpleasant health problems at the end of my seventy-eighth year, on my birthday I found out that although the diagnosis and prognosis are not excellent, at least they aren’t fatal, and medication should contribute to better control and more comfortable living.
I’m looking forward to enjoying my seventy-ninth year and all that it holds in store, while being mindful of Proverbs 15:13 – A happy heart makes the face cheerful…
My Happiness is still playing in my head. I don’t mind if it stays there for the next three-hundred-and-fifty-eight days.
I was delighted to hear that one of our church members recently celebrated his one hundredth birthday with not one, but two celebrations. This delightful gentleman is of tall, straight stature and occupies a third from the front row pew every Sunday. He continues to drive, and up until a few years ago, drove “old” people to their appointments. He keeps fit by doing “the bicycle” every morning, walking every day, except for icy weather, and climbing up and down stairs during television commercials. He belongs to a community center where he enjoys shuffleboard and other activities. He is pleasant to look at, pleasant to speak with, and travels a few miles out of town every weekend to visit his daughter.
Because of being “under the weather”, I missed the church celebration of his Big Day, which I hear was a huge success with lots of food, two giant cakes, and a pile of birthday cards. I hope I’m well for his one hundred and twentieth!
So the Lord said, “My spirit won’t remain with human beings forever because they are truly mortal. Their lifespan will be one hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3 ISV)
She’s ninety-two years old and in long term care after a fall left her with a broken hip. My visit with her on Tuesday was a delight, as she reminisced about various people in her life (many times over). Dementia is often a side effect of longevity, and repetition of conversation is one of the tell-tale signs of this disease.
My friend misses her euchre games with her old friends, misses her Sundays at church, misses her home which she is sure she will return to when her hip heals.
Nevertheless, this dear lady loves her life and told me, “I know my children appreciate me and I love that.”
When it was time for me to leave, she took my hand and smiled, “You know, Pat, I’m glad I’m still alive,” she said.
How happy I was to hear those words. I look forward to my next visit with this plucky ninety-two year old.
I’m on a C S Lewis kick because I get a kick out of C S Lewis quotes! I dreamed a dream and set a goal in my old age.