The Art of Aging Gracefully
Let me hope that while my body may fail in strength
my spirit will grow in wisdom.
Let me see that being independent is not necessarily
an end all and be all
and that embracing interdependence.
May be the greatest gift I can give those who love and care about me.
Let me look out the window and see not how few summers there
are left to me
but how beautiful are the summers left to me.
Let me be relieved to know that my past is no longer my past
that it is instead my history—
my story of me—
and that it no longer has a hold on me.
Let me look at my body and see beauty,
Not the beauty of the curved hip and the raised breast,
but simply beauty.
Let me look at my children and see them not as I thought I shaped
or as I thought I influenced them
but exactly as they are
separate and apart from me
while at the same time
connected to me.
Let me remember that God authors stories not
that kindness changes everything
that war is never good.
Let music take me across the bridge to the other side.
Let me be able to lie in my last hour
and feel nothing but gratitude for it all.
Exactly as it is and exactly as it was
and in these ways.
May I learn the secret of aging—and dying—well.
When Tomorrow Starts Without Me
When tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see;
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn't get to say.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and
called my name,
And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready,
In Heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye,
For all my life, I'd always thought,
I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for a while,
I'd say goodbye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through Heaven's gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and
smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,
He said "This is eternity,
And all I've promised you."
Today your life on earth is past,
But here it starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
and since each day's the same way
There's no longing for the past.
Buy you have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true.
Though there were times
you did some things,
You knew you shouldn't do.
But you have been forgiven
And now at last you're free.
So won't you take my hand
And share my life with me?
So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I'm right here, in your heart.
Janice M. Fair-Salters ©
My Get Up and Go Has
Got Up and Went
How do I know that my
youth is all spent?
Well, my get up and go has got up and
But in spite of it all I am able to grin.
When I think of
the places my get up has been.
Old age is golden, So I've
But sometimes I wonder, as I get into bed.
ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup
And my eyes on the table until
I wake up.
Ere sleep dims my eyes I
say to myself
"Is there anything else I can put on the
And I'm happy to say as I close the door
friends are the same, perhaps even more."
When I was a young thing
my slippers were red,
I could kick my heels as high as my
Then when I was older, my slippers were blue,
But still I
could walk the whole day through.
Now I'm still older, my
slippers are black.
I walk to the store and puff my way back.
reason I know my youth is all spent,
My get up and go has got up
But really, I don't mind
when I think with a grin,
Of all the grand places my get up has
Since I have retired from life's competition
myself with complete repetition.
I get up each morning and
dust off my wits,
Pick up the paper and read the 'obits',
name is missing I know I'm not dead
So I eat a good breakfast and
go back to bed.
Miss Me but Let Me Go
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room.
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little – but not too long
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me – but let me go.
For this is a journey that we all must take
And each must go alone.
It's all a part of the Master's plan,
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.
Miss Me – But Let me Go!
I Do Not Think My Song Will End
I do not think my song will end
While flowers, grass and trees
Abound with birds and butterflies
For I am one with these.
And I believe my voice will sound
Upon the whispering wind
So long as even one remains
Among those I call "friend."
I shall remain in hearts and minds
Of loved ones that I knew,
And in the rocks and hills and streams
Because I love those, too.
So long as love and hope and dreams
Abide in earth and sky,
Weep not for me, though I be gone.
I shall not really die.
Johnny Hathcock ©
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