Extraordinary Stories

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

The "Do You Really Like Being Old?" Story

LDub and Bill
It was an ordinary day.  Reading an email sent to me by a childhood friend whom I don't get to see as much as I wish I could.  He lives on the other side of the country and we only get to visit every few years.  We sometimes talk as well as email one another as often as we can or if and when we remember.  He recently sent me a short paragraph about growing old titled "Do You Really Like Being Old?"  I read it ... and re-read it over and over and decided to share it with you, but only as my version.  So, with quite a few changes and additions, here is my version - the version of an old guy who loves life more than ever.

To my friend Bill ... "Do you really like being old?"

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging; aging in body, mind and soul.  So, whose business is it, if I choose to read, or play on the computer, until 4 AM, or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50s, 60s & 70s, and sing along if I care to and not worry if I’m out of tune.  I will walk the beach with a limp, on a warm paradise island, and dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from others. They, too, will get old, someday.  I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And, eventually, I remember the important things ... usually ... I think.  Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when one's beloved pet dies?  If I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will cry my heart out, unashamed, as much and as often as I desire, just because I can.  But broken hearts are what give us strength, understanding and compassion.  A heart never broken, is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect.  And tears shed from a broken heart tend to irrigate the soul.  And, who among us is perfect?  I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn gray and disappear and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. Grooves that tell all I have lived a full and joyous life.  So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.  As you grow older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore.  I've even earned the right to be wrong.  And the pain I feel as I walk, talk and even sleep reminds me that I have lived a full life and used my God given body to the fullest.  So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting about what could have been, or worrying about what will be.  And I shall eat dessert after every meal ... every single day (if I feel like it).  I'll eat between meals and even spoil my appetite, just because I can.  And, I will visit my doctor, or doctors, as often as my Medicare will allow.  And lastly, I will tell those I love the most that I do, lest they forget it. May our friendship never cease, especially when we need each other the most ... and Thank You for your friendship!  SO BE IT!!

It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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