My husband and I recently found ourselves on our own again. After raising ten children over 40 years, I didn’t see this coming!
We’ve always been a close-knit family, but of course, as the children have grown up, one by one they’ve been moving on. I cried each time, as it felt like a piece of my heart was being torn away.
My grandfather, whom I called “Opa,” and I were best buddies. He sharpened my instincts and shared his love for nature during our weekly hikes in the woods.
Each weekend, I eagerly awaited the moment when I was dropped off at Opa and Oma’s one-bedroom apartment in a small town at the heart of Germany’s industrial center.
Since turning 70, I’ve been thinking more about the benefits of aging. Even though many of us who are getting older have already felt some of the disadvantages or difficulties, there are also many good things to be found in this stage of our lives. I want to explore a few of these with you by sharing some of my own thoughts and experiences. Of course, you may not be at the stage in life where these things apply to you personally, but you may be interested for the sake of elderly family members or friends.
You wouldn’t think he was speaking to a gathering of elderly people, some in wheelchairs, some unable to talk, others afflicted by dementia or Alzheimer’s.
His hands gesticulating in the air, his voice passionately describing some deep concept, then the blackboard and the chalk: “Who can tell me what peace means? You, Alberto, yes, tell me and I’ll write it down. Wonderful! Come on, everyone, we’ll send this to the local newspaper!”
Jesus, You promised, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”1 Please help me to stay young in heart and spirit, even as I grow older in body.
Help me to remember to thank You for the times I’m in good health, and give me the grace to cheerfully accept the difficulties and disappointments that come with aging. Amen.
Each age has its special beauty.
Proverbs 16:31: The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.
Proverbs 20:29: The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is their gray head.
Growing old is no more than a bad habit which a busy person has no time to form.
If wrinkles must be written upon your brow, let them not be written upon your heart. The spirit should not grow old.
The sky this evening was beautiful—a cathedral in the heavens, glowing with light. It was almost like catching a glimpse of heaven. The sun is gone now, swallowed up by the darkness, but it’s sure to rise again. Sometimes the dawn is even more beautiful than the sunset.
The light slowly fades to darkness, but then comes the sunrise. “The Sun of Righteousness”—Jesus—“shall arise”1 and set everything straight. Before I can see the sun itself when it begins to rise, I can see its effects as it lights up everything—like the light of God’s Word drives away the darkness.
Eighty-two-year-old Eloise sits in her nursing home room with Stage Six Alzheimer’s. She remembers her name but frequently doesn’t recognize her granddaughter. She is sweet and kind to all the nurses and has a special impact on them, although they appear in her room every morning as strangers. It is easy for them to be patient with Eloise; other Alzheimer’s patients sometimes act stubborn and cantankerous. In spite of losing her memory and spending most of her time alone, she is happy because she looks out her window and sees a tree.