Life teaches you everything, but how to handle growing old. We see older people every day, talk to elderly family members and friends, but do we ever find out what is really going on inside of them. What emotions and limitations are they really dealing with? Many are sad with parts of their life being stripped away every day. Their hands may not work like they used to. They can't lift like they used to. Doing many of their favorite things, the things they loved, seems so far ago and will never be close enough to touch again.
It starts to happen slowly, while you try to be blind to it. It just can't happen to me. You knew it was inevitable, but not so fast. You can't be getting that old already. Then you realize you're in the final years of your life. You look at your family a little differently. If you tell anyone how you're feeling, they dismiss it quickly with, “you've got dozens of years yet.” Unless you're in it, you can't understand it.
Oh, you've expected that you'll always be the go-to-one at the work. But mixing up an old saying, you're go-to-got up and went. You're mind just isn't as sharp. It just about refuses to be there when you need it. Especially when you catch yourself day dreaming at stop light, and it progresses from there.
At family gatherings you realize that these are all faces that will be disappearing from you and you from them. But, no one's told you how sad these realities will be, although you know this is just a normal part of life.
You might be enjoying being more settled in your life. But, you then have to begin balancing the things in life you can no longer do.
At one point your kids will begin telling you “you're too old to do that.” The big one comes when you can no longer drive. You've lost your independence. Assisted living comes next. That's an arrow through the heart. THE BIGGEST HURT COMES WHEN YOU ACTUALLY REALIZE THEY'RE RIGHT and you're sad because you are not prepared to die. You're not ready to give up the things you did when you were young, the things you've always loved to do. You're not prepared to die. Why didn't someone tell me how hard this was going to be? How depressing and sad it would be realizing you're not the person you once were. You wake up each morning with aches and pains and a twinge that says “will this be the day”.
No one told me, no one warned me, I'm just not prepared to die.