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?