The gift of age is something that goes wholly unnoticed by those who run from it.
Today’s quote speaks a wisdom that our culture is in such desperate need of. The fear of aging seems to be getting stronger all of the time and with that fear comes the whole ‘anti-aging’ mind set. I take issue with the thought that aging is some kind of disease that we should all try to outrun. I know exactly where my mind set has come from, too. It has come from decades of working with those who never made it to the ‘big 30’. There have been many through the years, but during a two year span very early in my career I had a foursome of young souls grace my path who left me forever changed.
I was in my mid twenties when I first began doing hospice work. I was calendar young, but with almost five years of marriage under my belt and two babies on my hip I thought and acted beyond my years. During those first two years, three women and one man who were all in my same demographic; mid twenties, married, children, etc. came under my care. They were each what is deemed ‘ an early referral’ which meant that they lived long enough to be on hospice care for several months. This created a space for real relationships to develop- and the lessons and gifts they each left me with are too numerous to ever re-count. They were fresh faced, unwrinkled, and dying. Being their companion in that process made me a fierce advocate of aging. What each of them would have traded to have lived long enough to see that first crows foot spread out from the corner of their eye like a fine spider web. And if they just could have put in enough time for a deep laugh line or two…. their children would have a whole host of memories that they were denied.