Getting Old…

I had the most incredible conversation with my wife this morning.  (As many of you know she has terminal breast cancer.)  Unlike me…she doesn’t talk all that much…but she says a helluva’ lot when she does.

“I’ve been watching commercials on TV and they’re starting to get to me,” she said.

I tried to figure out which ones.  The over-the-top yelling ones…the overtly sexual ones…the incredibly lengthy pharmaceutical ones that list all the awful side effects as the woman on screen flashes her sh*t eating grin?  There are so many. 

“Which ones?” I asked.

“The ones for Rogaine…and Botox…and whiter teeth.  Stuff to make you look younger.”  She started to tear up a little and continued, “If it was me…I would grow old gracefully.”

“I suppose we’re all enamored with youth,” I said.

“But growing old is such a GIFT,” she replied.  “What a wonderful thing…to grow old.”

Lesson:  We’re so afraid of getting “old.”  I think we should welcome it.

Published in: on June 26, 2009 at 3:34 am  Comments (9)  
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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. She is right and sometimes I feel ashamed of how worried I get over looking a little older. I of all people should no better. The commercials YOU mentioned bothered me a lot when I was sick. Anything with people yelling or being loud made me feel like I couldn’t breathe (even worse than usual). I couldn’t yell like that and it hurt to see someone else doing it.

    • Crazy isn’t it? We hear…we agree…and then go on living the same old way. Thanks for reading, Sandi…

  2. Andy

    Thank you and Laura for that reflection. As someone who has been fortunate to be able to grow old, I am not often enough grateful for that privilege. Your two’s experience, as awful as it is, is providing us all with a lot of wisdom.

    • Wow, what a powerful post… thanks Laura and Andy.

      One thing I very much admire in the rural world is how gracefully people age. It’s beautiful to me how they embrace their age and don’t feel pressured to look like they’re 22.

  3. wow….and here I reread this and see I wrote *know* as *no*. I sometimes wonder where my brain is. =/

  4. Andy

    Laura speaks with such clarity. You must be treasuring your moments with her. Thank you for sharing this with us. Beautiful.

  5. Laura has blessed us all with a very valuable teaching and for it I am grateful that you delivered it. Please deliver my “thank you” to her.

    • I will. Thanks for reading and commenting. There will be more I think. If not…well…I won’t forget these words and that conversation…ever.


  6. I agree 110%. I get annoyed not only by such commercials but by people complaining incessantly about little things that in the grand scheme of things don’t matter. Kinda like “don’t sweat the small stuff.” Truth is-it is all small stuff. If you are healthy you can do anything.

    For a long time now-I have told anyone that would listen to cherish their health! Bottom line though, while you are healthy, you just don’t “get it.” Unfortunately it is only through serious illness and facing the end or being a spouse and watching it that you truly understand.

    I’ll admit, I really didn’t get it until my health failed me. I had no excuse either, I was a nurse and saw very ill people every day…I’ve spent many days wishing I did more when I was able. Which brings us back to living in the moment. We all should, and need to, and frankly I think it’s a darn shame that all of us human beings don’t get this concept at the very beginning of our lives. It sure would resolve a lot of issues wouldn’t it?

    Take care & God bless,

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