AN ELDERLY GENTLEMAN was overheard complaining. “I must be getting old!” he muttered. “I’ve had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, and two new knees. I’ve fought prostate cancer, and survived diabetes. I’m half blind, and I can’t hear anything quieter than a jet engine. I take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded and subject to blackouts. I have bouts of dementia, and poor circulation, and can hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. I can’t remember if I’m 85 or 92. And I’ve lost all my friends.
“But, thank God,” he smiled. “I still have my driver’s licence!”
I don’t know who wrote this gag. But it’s a light-hearted reminder that ‘growing old’ doesn’t have to mean you have to lose your sense of humour … fit the stereotypes … go quiet, dull and boring … give up on life … resign yourself to a nursing home … remain sedately in your rocking chair … and accept labels like ‘fuddy-dud’ without protest.
Some of the brightest, smartest, funniest people I know are old … or not far off it. And they tell me that – just as every stage in life has its limitations and headaches – old age also has its unique joys and rewards.
I reckon we should acknowledge who the aged really are. They’re not problems – they’re PEOPLE, just like us. And, sooner or later, we’ll ALL eventually join their ranks.
We should also acknowledge that old can be beautiful. A person with many years to look back on is not a symbol of disaster but a symbol of victory!