Must I Grow Old?


Today I accompanied an elderly relative to see her dermatologist. This dear lady is recently widowed and is still recovering from a broken hip. On this visit she had a cancerous growth removed from her face.

I parked my car close to the door, got her walker out of the trunk and helped her up the sidewalk. A gentleman held the door for us.

In the office, I answered the questions written in a type so tiny no one could possibly decipher it without bifocals. I ran interference with the staff when they asked questions hard to understand and I wondered what would have transpired had I not been there to help.

I want to say, this woman has spunk. She’s using a walker, driving a double-cab pickup truck and finding her way around this big city better than I can. She argues with the doctors, is bold about what she wants and generally gets what she needs.

Though I admire the ability of the elderly to cope with all life throws at them as their health and abilities decline, I rue the day when I am in their place.

Because I do not envy the thinning hair, wrinkles, false teeth, arthritic pains, blurry vision or loss of memory, if I have any choice in the matter, I’d rather not grow old.

I’m wondering what purpose God has in mind when he lets all these bodily malfunctions fall on humankind as we age. I speculate it may help us get to a place of resignation, so that death is more acceptable when it comes. Possibly old age teaches us humility. Perhaps it is a mercy that we have these latter years for reflection on the purpose of life.

When we are old, kids are grown and independent, careers are over and we have more time to think about our Creator.

Now that I’ve reached “middle age,” I’m thinking maybe if I spend more time and effort getting ready for eternity, I won’t have to grow old. If I’m ready now, can I just skip the icky part?

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About janets123

Children's writer, newspaper columnist, essayist, poet, storyteller
This entry was posted in Short Takes on Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Must I Grow Old?

  1. Paula Gorgas says:

    Janet, my thought is that God has no part in our aging bodies or any of the horrors of the physical world. God is Love; God is Perfect. How could He create something as imperfect and finite as the human body? Our job is to realize we are Spirit, as He is. I know this is a controversial opinion which many will not agree with, but it helps me to cope and to grow.

  2. Cliff says:

    The word of God says in Psa_71:18, “Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.” I believe that is one of many purposes in our growing old.

  3. Well, I think we don’t need to become feeble before, but inevitably become feeble as at birth deterioration begins. I trust I have shared God’s word as I hae journeyed and have set an example along the way, as well.

  4. Hi Janet,

    Maybe we age because we need to stop somehow in our busy lives to focus on the purpose of life. Some life purpose may not be visible when we are young because we are not into it, we are more into our careers, paying bills and competition.

  5. pat groshng says:

    There’s so much about aging I didn’t know about. Injuries don’t heal so quick. Hair growing profusely in the most unexpected places. Dentures …don’t do it!!! My eyes have to have glasses. All the time! Fat feels permanent. Tired and slow are kissing buddies. Is this any way to live? Is there a choice? Memory. What memory? Aging? I’m totally against it.

    • janets123 says:

      Pat, I just returned from a few days w/my 89-year-old aunt, who is the picture of “growing old gracefully.” She has all the outward signs but her “inner man” is more beautiful & graceful than a super model. She’s my inspiration!

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