One moment I‘m skipping down the sidewalk in my cheerleader’s outfit, happy as a clam. I am holding hands with the basketball star who just gave me my first kiss. The world turned around a couple of times and then, here I am, bent over in a one-size-fits-all, grey haired, 100 different physical problems, and old, really old. Never will I skip again…
We, us old guys and gals, are called Senior Citizens. We have worked and prayed, or not, and loved a lot, or not and paid our taxes, or not, and raised kids, or not, and watched our peers, friends, family members, spouses, and all of the above leave us, or for some maybe not.
Chances are, when you reach my age, you probably have had happy times, sad times, glorious times, and then also missed some great opportunities because of the road on which you are traveling. The point, is, you can say what Auntie Mame’s secretary, Agnes Gooch said, “I have lived!”
It takes a lot of guts (courage) to grow old. Think about it, no matter how a life is played out, growing old is fraught with all kinds of dangers, physically, mentally, emotionally, or all three. No one escapes this world without a boo boo or two.
The thing about reaching old age, by definition is, we have been in this world a long time. So we know more than the average young person about many things and in many areas. Even though this is the age of computers and cloning sheep, we who have lived are catching up at our own pace. Nearly two decades ago I was fortunate enough to attend the Cannes Film Festival with my daughter, where I attended a panel with Mark Cuban among the luminaries seated. I stood up and asked “ How can I bring seniors around to using computers in AARP meetings? I was using the computer, but most of my peers at the time were not. His answer: “Don’t worry, they will catch on from their Grandchildren; they will be taught how to play games on the computer”. He was right. And they taught their friends,etc…Of course, there are those who took courses at their senior center, or junior college, or from their brilliant high school grandson.
We Golden Oldies still have a life to live. We who have a working brain contribute and still contribute in all areas of life when we can. We vote, we teach, we listen, we applaud, we love. We miss our youth sometimes, and sometimes for example, we women are so happy to never have cramps again.
We can choose to continue to work, or maybe we will take up another profession (there are more persons living after age 80 than ever before who still collect a paycheck).
There are dependent, independent, really, really nursing home dependent where many beautiful old people live. Physically, mentally, or maybe both, they have lost the fight to engage like once they did. Nonetheless, they are here until they go. Like all of us. Who is to say their lives no longer matter?
Like all of the other human beings on the face of this earth, we matter because we are here. So, I say, to use a modern metaphor used by a bear on a TV toilet paper ad, “We all go…so why not enjoy the go?”