Getting Old is Not for Sissies


I was eating dinner in a restaurant and this farmer and his wife sat down in the booth next to me. When you sit that close you can’t help but hear what they are saying. She talked about what she was going to order, and kept asking him what he wanted. After several minutes of her suggestions, it hit me, he couldn’t speak. She was showing him the menu and he was shaking his head yes or no, until she had a good idea of what he wanted for dinner. They ‘talked’ about the farm which meant she talked and he nodded. They had the system down and were able to communicate very well. Somehow it worked.

None of us know what cards life is going to deal, all that we can do is to play the hand we are dealt the best way we know how. If it means losing our ability to speak and learning how to communicate again, then that is what we do. If it means dealing with getting older as our body fails us though our mind keeps going, then we figure out how to keep going one day at a time. If it means changing the way we live so that tomorrow we can wake up and be thankful for another day, then that is what we must do.

Life is a gift, a treasure, an opportunity to do something, anything, one day at a time. Some days it goes our way and other days we are left in shreds. None of us knows what tomorrow will bring, or that we will even see tomorrow. All we know is that we can do our best today with what we have been given, or what we have left to give.

I was struck by the farmer and his wife, who lovingly sat and ate dinner together. It was probably one of thousands of meals they had consumed during their life and marriage, talking, sharing, making their world work. He had lost his ability to use words, so he used what he could. He shook his head and she talked on. She was patient, and kind, thoughtful and did everything in her power to make sure his needs were met. He sat in his clean pair of overalls eating dinner with his wife, making their world work for another day.

No matter what is happening to you today, remember the farmer who couldn’t speak eating dinner in public with his wife. You can make it work, you can learn a new way, you can do it. Put on your clean overalls, and get out there…no excuses. Getting old is not for sissies.


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