Life is like riding a bicycle up a hill. When we are young and preparing for our career, we must study endless hours. At the university, we must pay large sums to trudge through the years of preparation. Then, progress seems so slow.
We at last graduate and take our first job. Then, we realize our pay isn’t enough to pay our expenses and have much left over for entertainment. We struggle seemingly uphill through the years trying to have enough money to get married, buy a house, and raise a family. Somewhere along, the road through a matter of successes we reach the crest of the hill.
Then one day we turn in our I.D. badge, tell our work coworkers goodbye, and carry the box of personal items out the front door. The exhilaration of our retirement pauses for a moment as we glance back at the building we have occupied for so long. Finally, we have the time to enjoy our interests we tell ourselves, but we are also aware the road is shorter than before.
It is good the hill now slopes downward since our strength is less than at the beginning of our journey. We do have time to enjoy our interests, but we spend more or it at doctors’ offices. It’s a good thing we do have more time because it seems to take all day to do simple tasks.
Through the years we have learned and loved. We have laughed and cried. Our memories are sweet as we reflect on each mile of our trip forgetting the pot-holes that jarred us.
Through the years I have always had a friend or two who were older than me, sometimes much older. I think they were surprised I would befriend them though they seemed pleased. I found value in them. They could share pearls of wisdom learned through experience. Sometimes, they helped me avoid danger in my path. But usually, they were just good friends who had time to listen and share. Where else could I hear personal stories about plowing with horses, marching through Italy, or dropping depth charges? Most of them are now gone. They have now completed the days ordained for them. I’m glad we were friends. Andy Rooney said, “The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person”.
Everyone has value and should be treated with respect. As I push Mother through the Alzheimer facility, I try to be friendly to each one I pass. They are someone’s mother, father, brother, or sister and God loves them, too. Someone loves them even though they may no longer seem to return the love. They have a story that I will never know, and I imagine it’s a good one.
Psalms 139:14-16 NASB
I will give thanks to thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
Wonderful are thy works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from Thee,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.
Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Thy book, they were all written,
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
(©) 2018 Ronald Milburn