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I’ve heard it said that “old age is not for sissies.” As I’m now well established into my 60s, I understand what that means.
This year I’ve really been a loser. I’ve lost my mother, my father-in-law and several friends. And my friends have lost spouses. Two friends have lost their mental faculties. I’ve been thinking with whatever few brain cells I actually have left that I need to get younger friends.
Truth is, we lose more than friends as we get older. As time goes on, most of us start to lose our hearing, our seeing, our tasting, our smelling, our mobility and our short-term memories. For example, I own two hearing aids, and they take in everything they hear in the case I have them in. And I spend a lot of time trying to remember what I came into a room for.
When I went to my eye doctor recently, whining about needing new glasses since I can’t see too well, I was informed that new glasses wouldn’t help. “It’s your cataracts,” she said. “But they’re not to be point where you need surgery.” Evidently that will only be when I have to fumble my way, almost blind, into her expensive office.
And my joints are acting up as well. I had surgery on my left knee for a torn ligament, thinking that would make it better. But the doctor now tells me I really need a knee replacement. Evidently he’ll only give me one when the pain I have is so bad that medicine won’t touch it, and I have to come in crawling on my hands and knee.
What gives all of us comfort in our losses and struggles is God will be with us always. We won’t lose Him in the process of getting older. As Jesus told His disciples, “I am with you always even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Notice that one thing actually gets better as we get older: Our ability to complain!
Donna Crowe is a minister’s wife.