Friday, July 20th, 2018

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Aging happens naturally, yet we often don’t discuss, prepare for it


Maggie Smith, in the “New York Times,” said she didn’t have any problem playing a 90-year-old woman. “I don’t think it was a stretch,” she said. “I’ve been knocking on the door of 90 for a very long time.” Then the story went on to say that they had to age her 14 years with “scant” makeup.

That says to me that Maggie Smith is really just 76 years old. Well, gee whiz, I’m 76 years old and I certainly don’t feel as if I am knocking on the door of 90. It’s 80 I’m worried about and that is only because a male friend once told me, “It’s all downhill after 80.” My very own mother, at the age of 78, decided she didn’t have to do anything she didn’t want to do anymore. And she didn’t.

I was still in my frisky fifties and couldn’t imagine just settling back in my comfy reclining chair for the rest of my life. Actually that chair hasn’t been so comfy lately. And, since it eats everything I drop, we finally took the fabric off the bottom so everything will just fall right onto the floor. I need a new chair.

The first time I realized I was one of the oldest people in the room and we were one of the oldest couples at Christ Church was a sobering moment. For most of our marriage, Himself and I joked about how we always seemed to be the youngest couple wherever we were. We’re still laughing but not about that. We can look around now and see that our position in life changed while we weren’t even looking.

We talk often about death and dying and why not? People are dying every day and many of them are younger than we are and many seem to be just about our age. Death is a tough subject for most people; they don’t want to think about it, they don’t want to talk about it and, most of all, they don’t want to do it. Alas, it is one thing we cannot control.

Humans, I tell myself, are like flowers; they sprout up, they bloom and then they die. Sometimes they die without wills or living wills or any kind of instructions for those who will have to make decisions on their behalf. Now the government is deciding whether or not to pay doctors to give end-of-life counseling. What will they do for us next?

You can take full control of making sure the end of your life decisions are made now, by you. In the meantime you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you have one less thing to think about. Live long and prosper.

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