What Would it be like to be Old?

I used to wonder what it would be like to be old. I distinctly remember when I was 12 years old in 1962, thinking that it would be forever before I would be as ancient as my Old Grandparents! Grandma was only 63 that year…two years younger than I am now, and Grandpa was 68. All things are relative aren’t they? My Grandparents lived many more years. My Grandmother died in 1999 at the age of 100..and I, the man who had thought her old at 63 was still recovering from the first of two heart attacks, and could not help carry her coffin from the O’Zion Church that few steps to the graveyard just outside the back door.

She had never seemed to have aged that much at all from that day in 1962, up until perhaps the last year of her life. I certainly did. Relativity.

I looked at my own Grandchildren tonight and wondered what they will remember. I am 65 so I must seem decidedly aged to them. I look at myself through one set of eyes, one angle of perception, and they look with different eyes. I could not see in my Grandmother’s eyes her hopes and dreams for me. My Grandchildren cannot see mine for them. All through our lives, we are hopelessly at odds with a set of expectations for ourselves which we perceive that others have for us, when in fact our own expectations are probably always greater and more pressing.

One thing I do know that my Grandmother wished for me was more happiness and less worry. I know this because she told me so in person one day. The only other thing she wished was that I would come visit more often. I so very much wish I had.

So, for my Grandchildren…I wish for you more happiness and less worry…..and come visit when you can.

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