Yesterday I wrote about a pleasant surprise that came my way on Sunday. Well, Saturday also held a pleasant surprise. I was expecting two of my daughters to come and have lunch with me and one of them suggested taking in a movie as well. It was a nice surprise. The day was damp and dreary so an afternoon movie sounded perfect…and it was. The movie, The Book Club, was hilarious and the actors were well on in years…Jane Fonda, 80, Diane Keaton and Candace Bergan, 72, and Mary Steenburgen (the youngest) at 65. These ladies not only look good at their age but their acting is still drawing in the patrons.
When we left the theater, a lady in a wheelchair, wearing a neck collar, and crying copious tears, stopped us in our tracks with the lamest sob story I have ever heard. Believe me, you would not want me to repeat it. Of course she was looking for a handout which we acknowledged, but not without telling her that she did not have to tell this long, drawn-out tale of woe…she only needed to say, “Please, I need help.” Some might help, as we did, and some might not, and knowing she was telling a tall tale made it hard to give to her.
One of the Bible’s many life lessons is, “Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” Matthew 5:42 ESV
The girls went on to the the car and I exchanged names with the lady and wished her well. Christine was her name and as she wheeled away she half-smiled and said, “God bless you, Pat.” Another pleasant surprise. I hope she meant it.
“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
My attention has been drawn back to the year 2007 when I was in a hospital emergency room experiencing heart attack symptoms. While there I met an eighty-four old grandmother who confided in me that it didn’t matter if she lived or died at this point in her life. As she poured out her sorrows to me my heart broke even more.
This wonderful woman had lost two adult children…one to cancer and the other in a car accident. If that wasn’t bad enough one of her grandchildren, at eighteen months, had died of meningitis.
I believe we met at that particular time because I needed her strength and courage to lean on. I had had lung cancer surgery two years prior to this heart episode, and my husband, now in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease, was dying.
How much is too much? Only God knows.