Aging Gracefully

by SidewalkPhilosopher

Some day we, too, will have to face the effects of a long life. What choice will you make as to how you handle the later years of your life’s journey?

The shaking hands you find when watching the aged accomplishing the simplest tasks are showing you the hands of a person who has lived life.



Have you ever thought much about what that actually means? How do you age gracefully? What is graceful about bent shoulders, wobbly knees, shaking hands, stumbling feet, a quivering voice, falling backwards, memory lapses or those dreaded wrinkles? Well, let’s analyze these, why don’t we.



When I look at the bent shoulders and wobbly knees of the elderly, I see years of working, staying on task, to raise and support a family, striving to give them a little more than just their basic needs. There, you will find the old America, a nation of people who would never consider accepting charity, much less asking for it. They knew the value of work and the joys and pride found in the results of that effort.


The shaking hands you find when watching the aged accomplishing the simplest tasks are showing you the hands of a person who has lived life. Those hands have held a plow or made a deal on a handshake or caressed their wife and gently held their newborn son. Those hands have waved hello to their cherished friends and said goodbye to those who have gone on before them. They have cooked and cleaned for their family, changed diapers, wiped tears, pealed potatoes, clean the home, made the beds, and washed the clothes of those they love. Those hands may have played the piano in pleasure or just been there to hold a friend in sorrow.




         My Greatest Gift

                           by Eugenia S. Hunt

Within my silent, unspoken dreams,
Beginning with love's emotion.
Two hands clasp throughout tomorrow,
With promise of heart's devotion.

                                 A smile to chase away my fears,
                                To never walk alone,
                                A heart to give me shelter,
                                And arms to be my home.

                                                              You came to me as a gift,
                                                              My silent dream come true.
                                                              The greatest gift of all to me,
                                                              Is being loved by you.



Stumbling feet and backward falls remind us that we came into this world helpless to take care of ourselves, totally dependent on our parent’s hands. And it shows us that we leave this world in the same way, if we are lucky enough to have a long and fruitful life. We will then find ourselves dependent on the hands of the children we have loved and nurtured into the adults they have become. It tells us of life as it runs in circles and those stumbling feet have come full circle.



When we hear the crackling sound of a quivering voice, we hear the sound of a voice tired from many years of expressing needs, giving instruction, singing songs, laughter, sobs, and telling those close to them of their love for them. Also, with that voice, if you listen, you will hear the stories of their life and the lessons learned there. At their feet, you can obtain a wealth of information, as you listen to that crackling voice reminisce of family, lost loves, raising children, suffering, joy, the pleasure obtained in hard work, government, finances and the economy, past wars and lessons learned through them, religion, and their walk with the Lord. Their accomplishments can direct you to the path of yours. This and more is given freely for the price of spending a little time with them.




We all joke about the memory lapses of the elderly. I choose to call them “Intellectual Interruptions.” But there are many other names given to the age old condition. I have heard comments such as, “By the time you're eighty years old, you have learned everything. You only have to remember it.” Or “Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don’t have film.” In this age of computer memory, so many rely on a machine to keep up with their lives. However, though a computer has excellent memory, it doesn’t have imagination or emotion and they walk hand in hand with our memories to bring them to life.

Age Of Grace

by Eugenia S. Hunt
To age with grace upon my face
The wrinkles there, below gray hair,
Showing tears, revealing years
Of life in stride, with naught to hide.
My thoughts today turn toward the way
Ancestors walked, with heaven talked,
They lived a life of mortal strife,
But clung, in peace, God's own release.
A life worthwhile, smiling each mile,
Holding His hand, following His plan,
To rest one day, a Holy way,
With faithful stand, God's promised land.


And what about those wrinkles! So many causes are given for those. Oh, they smoked too long, drank too much, too much sun, or too many worries, are just a few. Well, do you know one of the major causes of wrinkles? Smiling causes wrinkles but wouldn’t the world be a terrible place if no one smiled? So, be proud of your wrinkles of happiness…both yours and the happiness you spread to others through that smile.



Some day we, too, will have to face the effects of a long life. What choice will you make as to how you handle the later years of your life’s journey?

I choose to tell stories that make others laugh about it. Many times, I have told of walking through the mall with my beautiful daughters, having a great afternoon, forgetting that I am so much older than the girls. And suddenly, I see my mother’s reflection in a store window!! However, my mother is not with us.

Have you ever had that happen, to have the realization of becoming your mother or your father just jump out and slap you in the face in the middle of an otherwise great day? It’s a real eye opener, for sure!

Life is what it is and it is up to you to make it return to you, joy, despite the effects of it.

So, remember, life is a gift and it is short lived. But it isn’t the end of you…simply an interval to what lies ahead. Live it well, with a song in your heart and the Lord by your side. And then, as the journey ends, you will be proud of the memories you leave behind for your loved ones and Heaven will be a sweet victory to which to look forward.



The Secret To Lifelong Happiness

From A Lady Of 92....

The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.

After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window.

“I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room …. just wait.”

“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.”

She went on to explain, “Old age is like a bank account, you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.”

And with a smile, she said: “Remember the five simple rules to be happy: 1. Free your heart from hatred. 2. Free your mind from worries. 3. Live simply. 4. Give more. 5. Expect less.


                                                HEAVEN BECOMES SWEETER



By Eugenia S. Hunt


When we are young and do not know
The wonders of His love,
We wander, homeless, through each day

As lost sheep, or a flightless dove.

We haven’t found the riches promised,
The recognition of Heavens grace,
The wonders and majesty there,

Found only when face to face,


                                                 With reality of what He did for us,
                                                 His life, so gladly given,
                                                 That we may know our time and more,

                                                 Found within the gates of Heaven.

                                                 Though the earth may crumble,
                                                 And life, so swiftly fade,
                                                 The Bible and its words of wisdom
                                                 Will stand, its foundation laid,
                                                 Within the realm of God’s own words,
                                                 Giving us no merit or say.
                                                 The merit, sighted by the Lord,

                                                 Jesus Christ, our only way,

                                                 To never reconcile our Father,
                                                 Allowing Him to speak,
                                                 So we may know the path’s demands

                                                 To reach the journey’s end we seek.

                                                 Heaven becomes sweeter still,
                                                 As time is late upon this earth.
                                                 Soon we‘ll face the Heavenly Spirit
                                                 Of this man who gave rebirth.
                                                 When we stand before the judgment seat,
                                                 And God reviews our lives, and more,
                                                 To know that we have faced the times
                                                 We have offended Christ, our Lord.
                                                  In Him, we’ll find a home, at last,
                                                  Accepting Christ, we stand,
                                                  No longer homeless, nor alone,

                                                  God’s plan for every man.


Related And Other Articles From The Sidewalk Philosopher

Wegener's Granulomatosis
How many know what this is? How many of you can even pronounce it? I can't. And yet, I have lost my dear friend, Elsie Harris, to this disease that seemed to come out of no where. Until Elsie's diagnosis, I had never heard of it or it's deadly affects and she would be the first to tell me to alert the public of this rare disease.

Life In My Grandmother's Time
My grandmother, Mary Grace Martin Ledbetter, born September 11, 1896, lived with our family until her death in June of 1965, when I was fourteen years old. The following is based on my personal opinions, memories, and the times shared with my grandmother, when I was a child, growing up in Pendleton, South Carolina. I felt her loss for many years after her death and will always cherish the time we were together and the things I discovered about life from having known her. There is so much to be learned from those who are older and wiser than ourselves. They have traveled the road ahead of us, know the joys, the pitfalls, and the lessons we must learn. They are our roadmap to our tomorrows, if we take the time to view life through their eyes.

Mother's Memories
Do her memories begin with the first day she gently held your hand? Maybe its the day you sat alone or took your very first step? There was your first tooth and the funny face you made when first tasting something sour. Could it be that first birthday, as she realized just how quickly a year could go by? Watching you walk out the door on your first day of school, I am sure, brought tears to her eyes.

Echoes Of Reminiscence
The next time you pass an old farm house with its blackened boards and paneless windows, stop for just a moment. Take time to reminisce about the people who once may have lived there. Consider the stories they could tell you of the memories filling each room and the history that still resides within its walls. Feel the peace that can engulf you as you stand quietly, caught up in the past as it mingles itself into the present. Listen to the quiet sounds around you and remember a slower time when a butterfly could still light upon you, bringing with it the joy of your own childhood.

Updated: 11/12/2013, SidewalkPhilosopher
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VioletteRose on 02/19/2014

This is such a beautiful article!

SidewalkPhilosopher on 07/24/2013

Yes, it does but I am running as fast as I can! :) Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed the article. I agree...we have much to learn from those who have gone before us.

Lilysnape on 07/24/2013

A beautiful article written with real care. We need to respect our elderly and also make the most of our time as old age catches up with people very quickly.

SidewalkPhilosopher on 05/15/2013

You are right, Shraddha...we will all be there someday, if we are lucky! :)

WriterArtist on 05/15/2013

So true. We all are going to become old, at that point we need to be content and take aging as it comes. May be greeting the old age like an old friend.

SidewalkPhilosopher on 08/31/2012

Thank you, Brenda!

BrendaReeves on 08/31/2012

A very beautiful article as well as beautiful poetry. I take care of my 90 year old mother.

SidewalkPhilosopher on 03/12/2012

Thank you, Terri...we should value our seniors...they are a wealth of knowledge, understanding and love!

terrilorah on 03/12/2012

What a really touching article. I work in a nursing home and you hit the nail on the head about the elderly. Life does come full circle. God Bless you for a wonderful article.

SidewalkPhilosopher on 01/10/2012

Thank you, Mr. Kelley, for stopping in to share my thoughts...I, too, hope to grow old gracefully. Nothing is worse than a elderly woman trying to remain in her 20s. LOL

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