Aging is inevitable. There are creams, lotions, potions ….nips and tucks to camouflage the bags, wrinkles and age spots. There are vitamins, supplements and elixirs that promise to restore lost youth, or to slow it down at least. But, age has its way with us all.
To youth, age is distant, an unimaginable state. Inconceivable! Old, what? I don’t intend to grow old. But, life just happens as years turn into decades. We are so busy! Life spools into the future until one day….we realize we are OLD. Aging can be a graceful progression or it can be a slap in the face!
Our eyes are a little dimmer, our hearing is …what was that you said?, our walk is a little slower, our joints don’t cooperate and struggling to get up off the floor is not a pretty sight….trust me!
Somewhere along our journey into old age, a curious thing happens. People begin treating us differently. “How are you, young lady?”. The twenty-something grocery clerk may think he’s being kind, as he bags purchases for the slightly stooped woman who is more than three times his age. She knows she’s not a young lady, and his jaunty comment only underscores that…she’s OLD!
Youth has little time for the elderly. They speak a different language. Youth doesn’t have time to translate and old folks are afraid to be a bother, so they just don’t ask. That happens more and more…just don’t want to be a bother. Youth is in a hurry to get on with their lives with no idea what awaits them…neither did we.
And, then ……..there’s the Will. The will hastily drawn when the kids were little was one thing, but that last Will…the one that seriously deals with the disposition of your estate, medical care and oh, by the way…do you prefer burial or cremation? This task is about as subtle as a ton of bricks! The final document brings us face to face with our own mortality…up close and personal.
Jobs, health care, personal care, travel, memory and most certainly finances…ALL change as we age. Generational issues are ever present…those who obviously don’t want to waste their time on the elderly….oldsters who are cantankerous, obstinate and selfish. Telephone hucksters who prey on seniors…seniors who are a menace on the highway, but can’t surrender their license… it’s part of their identity and their passport to anywhere.
Our society no longer honors age. Men and women who once raised a family, earned a living and contributed to the community, retreat into silence. Only a hint of who they were remains as they vanish before their own eyes.
Guess what. There has always been tension between the generations and as medical research has increased our life expectancy the tension has increased…are the elderly using too many resources, or is gerontology a booming business that positively impacts the economy?
Life is a rollercoaster ride. Hang in there, baby!