Friday, 27 July 2012
Aging is quite an adventure. When I was young, my going to the doctor was routine, in and out, “You're fine, see you in a year”. Well that was the way it was when I started going to the VA when I was in my early 50”s. Then one year it started; my liver enzymes were elevated and they did not know why. So they started playing with my meds, which were also increasing. They took me off one cholesterol medicine, and put me on something else, which did not help, so they took me off them as well.
After a few years I was informed that I had NASH, which is some new disease they discovered and told me that I had to be careful what I ate, medicines I took etc. I am not a drinker and never took drugs, but there you have it; I now have liver disease. I am finding that is not that uncommon and there is a chance I could get cirrhoses, but hopefully that is unlikely. Then not too long ago I had to get a pacemaker, which is something that I am glad that they have. Went in exhausted and having trouble breathing, even when I just took a few steps and the pacemaker took care of it.
So every time I go to the VA I wonder; “Gee, what will they find this time”. It is amazing how easy it is to have something go south in our bodies. When I was young I took it all for granted, but now, can’t say that I do anymore. Yet in spite of it all, I am happier now than I have ever been, and if truth must be told, I would not want to be any younger than what I am today. Once is enough, for any time of life and each has its ups and downs. For instance, I would never, ever, want to be a teenager again -- like I said, once is enough. My insides are at peace, I am more centered now, find friendships easier and my hormones are not raging, though they are still strong.
I still have to pinch myself to see if I am dreaming. Being almost 64 does come as a shock and knowing that my future is short, even if I live to be 90, which I doubt. The years fly by, so it will soon be here like yesterdays lunch; my being 90. The last 40 years have gone by so fast, I can only think that the possible (but not probable) 30 years remaining, will be here once I blink a couple of times. Soon I will be history and people will look at my grave stone and wonder what I was like; was I an ass hole or what?
Becoming older has it challenges, but life is good, I have friends, I love to read and study, go for walks in the night, look at the stars and wonder about it all and still at times feel like I am 22, without all the angst that goes with it. I am at peace that I am a pilgrim and nothing can stop the progression of my life. I can still choose, though how free I am, not sure about that. I do believe however, that on some level I made choices that slowly had an affect on my everyday life. Seeds planted in my heart, slowly taking root and bearing fruit, hopefully good fruit in my old age.
Trust is one such seed, to trust in life’s process, to trust in God no matter what my neurotic insides tell me -- to just put one foot in front of the other. In him we move, live, and have our being, so the scripture goes, and that reality is becoming more real to me as I age: the constant presence and love of God in my life. I have over the years studied atheist thinkers, and still do actually, but have never found them to make much sense when it came to the God question.
I have always felt pursued by God and no matter what I did and when I got off track in my life, I was always gently brought back in relationship and each time, a deeper healing took place. My hope is as the years continue, that whatever comes I will have the ability to adapt to whatever ‘new normal’ comes my way -- and when the final few miles present themselves to me, I hope and pray that I will continue to have hope and to grow in love. If conscious when I meet my end, I hope that trust will continue as I enter the dark valley. I know however that there are no guarantees in life, so if my last days are rough, I pray that those who care for me will be patient and understanding.
The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
Even if I walk in the dark valley
I will fear no evil,
for you Lord, are at my side.
(Parts of Psalm 23)How has your relationship with God changed through your life? Are there any parts of your life you wish you could relive? What are you looking forward to about growing older?