Thursday, December 14, 2006

It's a Wonderful Life

I believe in life after death, but I believe in life before death, too! I just read something negative about aging and it made me think of a lady I know who is 96. She just got back from a trip to China. She is planning on going to Alaska in the spring. On the other hand, I recieved a Christmas card from a friend who is 57, telling me about the various tests and scans she's having, how she's scared to be alone in case she has a stroke, how her husband is visiting their grandkids after Christmas but she's not going because she's afraid to fly...which of these ladies is living and which one is dying? Getting older doesn't have anything to do with it!

I see advertisements lately that push one product or another (often meds, or beauty products, insurance, retirement accounts, etc.) that make it sound like if we eat better, prepare more, or have the right hair color we won't get old. I've even heard people comment that if so and so had lost weight, or had the right doctor, or whatever, that he wouldn't have died, insinuating that a wise person wouldn't be so irresponsible as to die. That seems silly to me. The older we get, the more likely it is that we'll die. And if we don't die first, we will get old! I'm not being morbid. I just think that instead of worrying about aging, we should concentrate on life! It's too wonderful to miss.

I'm now past middle age (if middle age is halfway) and I have all the experience of 57 years. That gives me some perspective and I hope some wisdom. I love knowing what I know, and I can't wait to learn the rest! I remember my 30-year-old body like it's an old friend. I'm trying to become friends with the one I have now. I look at my grandchildren and marvel at their soft skin, and unwrinkled hands, how darling they look while they are so perfect and innocent, how confident and un-selfconscious they are, unaware that their legs are short, their tummies protruding, that they are bald and toothless. I realize I was that way once upon a time, too. I don't even remember myself then. I'm sure I didn't appreciate the way I looked and how everything about me functioned efficiently. It took getting older to learn that. I actually think I'd rather appreciate things than be too innocent to even notice them. Experience is worth the price of aging.

The inside of me is still young. My 90-year-old grandma once told me that she always felt the same inside, and when she looked in the mirror she was surprised at the old lady that stared back at her. She couldn't believe the mirror! I assume my 96-year-old traveling friend thinks that way, too. I'm afraid my 57-year-old friend believes the mirror.

Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus who gave us the chance for life after death. But first He taught us how to live this life. It's wonderful!

1 comment:

Bev said...

And as I frequently tell my mother, getting old just might be better than the alternative!

Your grandma was right....who is that person in the mirror? I still want to do all those things I could do when I was 20 (but with the wisdom of being 55!)