This is a topic I haven’t talked about much. When Dad was still alive and he had lost Mom, he decided he did not want to be a burden to his children, so he stuck himself in a nursing home for a while. It was a rotten experience and he hated it! The people were old! Dad was not young himself, but to his death he kept a youthful and interested mind, and I am glad he passed his example on to me.
America is not kind to its elderly. If like me you are of the baby boomer generation, you will remember a culture of youth, beach bodies “Twiggy” thin. Even now I witness aging people trying to recapture the image of youth through plastic surgery, dying their hair young no matter how many wrinkles they wear on their face, trying to stay fit ahead of the sagging breasts (on men and women) and sagging bellies. When that doesn’t work, we take selfies from the top down, so that the second chins or the neck wrinkles don’t make us resemble snapping turtles. Yes, I am trying to be funny, but I am speaking truth too. I am at that age to wear purple, so I can speak truth.
I think that people should respect and revere the elderly to honor the wisdom that life gives us. So what if we have wrinkles? Some people like those wrinkly faced dogs and old people are not less cuddly. The proof is in the little children with their favorite grandmother.
Yes, there are consequences to getting old. The bones ache and creak, and it can be difficult to stand up, unlock your joints and move again. The aged body is subject to all the aches and pains our grandparents and parents complained of, cancers, and other ailments. But my spirit has never felt so young all the days of my life! I think the reason is that I have made all the mistakes I am likely to make, suffered all the consequences I am likely to suffer, and learned from them so that I do not expect adverse joy.
So if folks want to appear younger, and it makes them feel better, let them go at it. It costs me nothing and provides plenty of people watching interest. But the moral of the story is to be able to find happiness with You, no matter what your age or material circumstances, and that youth of the spirit comes from remaining interested in life and in learning.
Creator, today I pray that somehow young people and old people needing each other will find each other and that wonderful bonds of spirit can be engaged to the benefit of each other. Young people need supportive mentors and aging people may find interest in the occupations of the young. There are marvelous skill sets to be learned and practiced. Amen.