Friday, March 2, 2012
Brain Fart by Miss Fanny: Growing Old Can be Fun
The other day my great-grandson was at my house and I was helping him with his homework when suddenly he looked up at me and said “Granny, I don’t want to grow old.”
What he said didn’t take me by surprise. I’ve heard people say that before. What bothered me this time was that it was someone in my family speaking those words, and I took it as a personal insult because I’m old and proud of it.
I was curious about why the boy would say what he did, and asked him about it. Do you know what he told me? “If I grow old then I’m going to die.”
I couldn’t argue with that, but I had to give the little guy a reality check, so I told him: “If you don’t grow old, that means you’re going to die young.” That got his attention.
It’s a sentiment I use often when I hear folks talking about not wanting to grow old. It seems to me that anybody ought to be grateful if they reach “old age”, whatever that happens to be. Everyday somebody doesn’t’ make it. Every day, maybe every hour, somebody doesn’t wake up in the morning. Others don’t live to go to bed that night. I asked my great-grandson did he want to be one of those. Of course he said no, so I told him to stop that foolishness and be grateful for everyday that’s given to him walk the earth. We all ought to be grateful, but we live in a country that worships youth and looks at aging as something to fear instead of something to respect.
What’s wrong with this country anyway? It’s not like that in other countries that have been around much longer. Maybe the fact that the United States is a young country is the reason that it worships youth so much. Maybe it hasn’t been around long enough to have learned to respect age. Shoot, I live in a city that tore down its basketball arena because it was twenty-five years old. Yet, I bet the same folks that made that decision will travel across the ocean to take pictures of ancient monuments and that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. If folks can respect aged buildings, why not aged people?
You’ve got to be tough to grow old in America. It ain’t easy. Older folks are often treated like children, or too often we’re the object of ridicule and bad jokes. The contributions that we have made to this society can be overlooked or unappreciated. Still I ’m thank God that I’m old. I’m in my eighties now and a lot of my friends didn’t make it this far.
As we grow older we should gain more wisdom and more insight. I say should because unfortunately I’ve met some older folks who are as dumb as a box of rocks. I take that as being heredity. I guess nothing can help that. I don’t know about anyone else, but I do know that as I aged my confidence in myself increased. What used to be so important I discovered didn’t matter anymore and I certainly stopped trying to please others.
Yep, I’m enjoying this growing old thing. Of course, I’m still pretty healthy. I’m still mobile and independent. I might not feel his way if I wasn’t.
The day might come that all of these good things might not be so good anymore. Yet I can’t let what might happen tomorrow stop me from living the best life I can today. I’m an old lady and I’m loving it! Go muse on that.