As the years have vanished, I realize how different the aging process is today, compared to how it took a toll on my mom and her mom. Take this incident, for example.
My grandmother stepped off the bus. I was just barely a teenager and was hanging out on that corner with some of my friends. She headed home, up the hill. It was early evening and far from my curfew so I stayed with my friends. After a few minutes, I heard her calling me. I was surprised and responded that it was not time for me to go home. She called again anyway, and a third time.
I stomped up the hill, really annoyed and finally caught up to her – only to find that she had fallen and could not get up. That’s why she had called; too proud to say she was in trouble. I helped her up and got her home.
Years later, I thought about the incident and calculated her age. She was 50. She was 50 years old and was an old woman. She wore orthopedic shoes and dressed in out-of-date styles and was not interested in the new or what was going on in the world. She was old. I loved her dearly, but she was old. And she was 50.
Contrast with my mother, who was the charming celebrant at her 75th birthday party, dressed in brand new cowgirl attire before taking off on another Roads Scholar adventure. At 75, she was energetic and young..
Today, we are even better off, as we age. Many relatives and acquaintances are probably still going strong in the second half of their seventies and beyond.
The elder sayings in this week’s story applied to past generations. Are they relevant to old folks today? Listen to the story and see what you think.
Consider This Show – Train that left the Station
I’ve been gathering sayings about aging. There is a lot of wisdom out there on the subject. I’d like to share some of it with you. How about this?
The age of maturity is that age at which one is still young but is much more resourceful. I sure agree with that one.
To get old is to go from passion to compassion. Another good one.
Many people never reach 80 because they waste time trying to stay at 40 forever.
When you’re past 60, there are fewer things that seem absurd. We’ve seen life imitate art far more than the imagination can conjure up.
Here’s another saying I like – In the eyes of youth, there glows a flame.
In the eyes of maturity, there shines a light.
The initiative of youth and the experience of age each have equal value and should go hand-in hand.
Each age calls for its own appropriate behavior
Here is an insightful observation – Young people travel in groups; adults travel in pairs; old people walk alone.
In that case, I believe that the passing years are meant to be lived, not just accumulated. If we end up walking alone, let’s have lots of fine memories to take with us.