Voice of this older woman

The Inevitable Red Lights in the Morning: December 1, 2010

You know it is getting tiresome -– is that the right word? Or is it getting customary to see reminders of the inevitable? The inevitable being our turn for the fire truck’s flashing red lights, ambulance, with no siren after entering this community. When is it my turn? When will I not be watching the red lights and red truck because I am the recipient of their valuable services? 

One can’t help but notice living here in this senior community aged 55 to 100 plus. The truck just passed by my house. It was stationed about a block away. I saw the red lights when I went out to get the newspaper. I said a prayer for the person who was in crisis and for the family. I have done this many times but this morning I came back in to write about the situation. We have been here for seven years now. At first we delighted in the beautiful area, with its lovely grand lodges, multiple activities, and friendly neighbors from everywhere, many from our home the Bay Area. We all found this wonderful place to light on our way to our next life. Most of us have raised our families, retired from our jobs and careers, and come for either a resort style or cruise ship lifestyle, without the ship and not on the water, to laugh and play and have a ball. Or to settle in closer to our families to take it easy and wait it out -– the inevitable. Some came in very healthy and then had a stroke or a heart attack and everything changed.

I myself came in knowing everything there was to know about older people having worked with them for the past twenty years. Then suddenly I became one. I became an older person. I even wrote a book about the female ones. Then I became one. Oh dear. It’s still okay. I am blessed with good health. Thank you God. But I can’t deny I am getting older especially when I read and hear about someone dying, a famous person at age 85 or 83 or 80 or 77. Excuse me I am in my 70s if I admit it. Though I would rather be at 45 or 65 I can settle for 68 and not go beyond that. So one can’t help but be reminded that one is on the downside of this time granted to one. Yesterday we visited a brother who was ill and we hadn’t seen him for a few months. He went from an average retired guy reasonably good looking and functioning though alone to after having fallen three times and broken his hip and not eating well to an old man in appearance. He really looks old and is in a care center for rehabilitation with a hundred old people. It really gets one to think for a moment either that I am heading in this direction or I am not nearly there. In any event it is scary depending on how you look at it.

Oh, what is one to do? How is one to look at it? This society does not relish or appreciate its older people — the wise, experienced ones who have lived the better part of their lives, raised them from children and directed their lives for years, managed the country even though maybe didn’t do a good job. Society wants us gone, out of the way so they can move forward. They don’t want us around to be reminded of what is to befall them some day. They don’t age you see they are young. So we have to do whatever it is by ourselves for ourselves. We have to take control of our minds and thoughts. We know we are aging and our bodies are wearing down but we can think good thoughts. 

We have to change our way of thinking to looking for the best, and finding the best in a bad situation. We all know we are going to die someday. One thing we know for sure is that no one gets out of this world alive. We will all see our Maker someday. So we need to be acquainted. If we have had contact with God we can know that where we are going is going to be pleasant and okay and even wonderful. It is the getting there that may be difficult. So let’s say a prayer every morning when we wake. Let’s thank God for another morning and a gift of the day to live – really live. Let’s live until until we die. Isn’t that a song? Let us live, live, live, until we die.  It is inevitable that we all pass from this earth to another place at some time. Those of us who are older have not had to leave prematurely as some have. We were left here to do something. What is inevitable is that we all pass. What is not inevitable is that we worry and fret about it. That we can change. Those are just thoughts and the worry and fretting can be changed to a different outlook. We can get control of our thoughts. We have strength and power there.

We can put a stop sign up when the negative sad stuff comes in and change it to what does God need me to do today? Who does God want me to call or drop in on?  What does God have for me today? How can I make the best of this real life situation here I have time to think and do just about anything I want to do. Change the thoughts, the outlook and be grateful for the time we’ve had and have. And LIVE, LIVE, LIVE, UNTIL WE DIE. 

I read in TIME magazine today that both I and ME are in the word time. So what is the T for? Interesting.

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