Monday, April 14, 2008

How Old is Old

How Old Is Old?
Two of the teen aged girls at Open Door Home in our city needed to interview an older person for a school assignment a few years ago.

Open Door is a home for children whose parents can not or will not care for them. I meet the criteria for “older person”so the Director at Open Door, my daughter, Beth called and asked if I would mind stopping by so the girls could interview me.

I went by and Beth introduced me to the girls. One of the girls was a 14 year old named Sarah. Beth told me, in Sarah’s hearing, how proud she is of Sarah for making good marks in school.

I congratulated her and expressed interest so Sarah immediately got her report card to show me. We had a nice visit.

When we started the interview, the first question she asked was, “To what do you attribute living to such a long old age?” Later when Beth was showing me out, she said she hoped the girls did not hurt my feelings by making such an issue of my “old age.”

Of course, Beth knew as well as I that it did not bother me. When I lived in the Atlanta area, I was not as ancient as I am now but I often spoke to Senior Citizens groups on subjects related to aging as my undergraduate degree included a certificate in Gerontology from Georgia State University.

One of the persons I love to quote when I speak to a civic or church group about “aging” is Madeline L’Engle. L'Engle said,“One of the nice things about growing old is you do not lose any of the other ages you have been.”

Wow! Think of that! Like Sarah, I know what it was like to be 14 and think 30 is old. I know what it is like to be 30 and still feel like 14! I know what it is like to be 30 and think 50 is old. And i know what it is like to be 50 and feel like 14 and 30. Now I am learning know what it is like to be 80 is know that 80 is just another number.

As Christians, we know that at the end of the counting, a new day will dawn and the counting will start over. We gather in church every Sunday to celebrate the Easter faith that what we call “time” does not have the last word over what God calls eternity. What we call death does not have the last word over what God calls life.

1 comment:

Carol said...

I've always liked that quote from Madeline L'Engle.

I really enjoyed reading this post.