Growing Older

From previous posts many of you know that growing old for me has been tough. I have contemplated as to why this is and think I have an idea.

When we look at the Word of God we see that growing old is an honor. Growing old is to be looked up to. Elderly are to be given honor and respect and their experiences and wisdom is to be followed.

Today, just like the fact that Scripture calls a house full of kids a blessing is ridiculed, so are the elderly and the wisdom and experiences they offer. People no longer want to follow the advice of experience or the Word Of God. We have a country that just wants young leadership and put down the history and ideals that formed the country.

This year I am old enough to begin collecting SS with early retirement. I have a grandson who will be old enough to get a drivers license. My hair has some gray. I am growing old like most baby boomers.

I watch how others treat their elderly parents, in laws, neighbors and society and instead of being proud of my growing older I am afraid of it.

When my husband and I were talking of getting married the one thing I told him right out was that when we marry his step mom was coming out of the nursing home and we were caring for her. She was about 92 and I was not going to let her stay in the home or die there.  So many were there because family left them as they did not want their elderly parents cramping their life style. (I know some  have no family and this is all they have.) My future mother in law ended up dying before we married. It broke my heart that I did not have the privilege of caring for her.

Now, here I am getting  older and watching the disrespect so many have for older people. I wonder if I have taught my children well enough to care for me, or have their spouses been taught to respect the elderly and care for them? How about my grandchildren? What are they being taught. Is society over riding any teaching that we did with our children or they with theirs? So often we can do out best but society teaches otherwise. While I feel confident my kids will care for me, it is still frightening.

Oh, I have been in the stores on Social Security day too. I have  chuckled at the elderly putting their carts in the middle of the isle while they slowly got to where they wanted to find something on the shelf. Mean while no one moves up the isle. When it happens I watch people.; some get mad, are disrespectful and get ornery. Others offer to help them and some just wait patiently. (funny note here, my grandfather, at the time in his 90’s, did not want to go to the store on ‘old timers’ day “cause all those old people just blocked the isle” so he could not shop! He lived to be almost 103!)

Or when they have told you the same story over and over. Some people listen politely as if it is the first time they heard it, others just zone out and still others inform them they heard it and do not want to hear it again.

How do you react? How do you treat those you are to have respect for and give honor to? What are your kids learning from watching you?

Let’s try to teach our children and grandchildren by actions to have patience, respect and honor our elderly because of who they are and what God says.

What? You have a cantankerous elderly neighbor? Or Mother? Or grandfather?  As a Christian we are to respect and honor them for their position. We may not like them, they may be a real pain, but they still need to get shown respect.  I think you can ask any of my kids about a certain senior citizen (OH wait, he was probably the age I am now!!) we had as a neighbor in PA. We know what living with someone like that is like.

I have been trying to remember to really go out of my way to show respect and honor when I am around the elderly. We never know who may be watching us and children need to see others being respected. They see the disrespect and antagonism towards elderly on TV, in stores, school and some homes so why not give them the example of honoring and respecting our senior citizens?

Life is hard enough and as you get older you look back and see all you have lived through and all it has taught you. You see where you would have done things differently, where you know you were right and where you think “How did I live through that?”. God has a way of taking those things and using them in your life and in the lives of younger people if they would listen. Scripture says to listen, to learn and to seek the advice of those who are older and God’s own.

If you are young, do you do that? Do you look to all the older family members and seek advice? Listen and learn from them? Or are you forging your own way doomed to make the same mistakes or more?

Older ones, do you share with the younger when you can?  Some of those things may seem trivial, but they were there for our learning and for the future generations. We are all too often quiet since so much in the  the world has made it clear that they do not care what the older person has to offer.

Well, I am not ready for the rocking chair yet, although some days it does sound might good, but I am getting up there. Early retirement here I come. I am fortunate though, I still have a mother that is alive, some kids that call and check on me and even some step kids as well that call.  Grand kids that call or email too. I am blessed indeed.