Family life is wonderful, for twenty years or so we give birth to, nurture, educate and generally prepare our children for life as an adult. Preparing nutritious meals, kissing boo-boo’s and sewing Halloween costumes, dealing with the broken hearts of first love and trying to instil our values into our children is part of the deal, even though we are often preaching to the bored face of an eye-ball rolling teen who is convinced you have lost the plot.
Parenthood is a challenge to say the very least but miraculously, through all the trial and error, we can stand back and admire the person we have helped mold into a loving, caring human being and enjoy the person they have become. It is now time to stand back and let them get on with their lives, never emotionally far away from our offspring but letting them raise their own children in their way. Having small grandchildren around is great, you can love and spoil them without having to deal with all the hard work that goes into raising a family. Too soon these children also grow into adulthood and we are no longer needed for baby sitting duties and an extra pair of hands.
Now it is our time, time for us to do our own thing. For the first time in our lives we have money to spend and time to enjoy it. Trouble is, the signs of age are creeping in, even though we never thought they would. Around the age of forty I realized that my arms were getting shorter. This seemed strange but something had happened to them as I could no longer hold my book far enough away for me to see the print. I bought glasses to compensate for the short arms.
Around the same time I noticed that my legs were getting longer, I could no longer fasten my shoes by bending down, I had to sit on a chair while I did this little job, strange but I had to accept that my body had a life of it’s own. I also had to give in to the fact that I needed an afternoon nap. I had never felt the need to do this before but, if I didn’t have a short nap, I could not keep my eyes open after eight o’clock. I had never done this before, let’s face it, I never had time but now a nap was part of the routine.
Waking up sore and achy is one of the first signs that you really are over the hill, having an extra half hour in bed is no longer the luxury it used to be. Which ever way you arrange your legs and shoulders, something hurts and you might as well get up, stagger into the bathroom and take your morning pills, another sign that you are getting old. The bleary face staring back at me from the mirror does not encourage too much scrutiny.
Drying myself after the shower I notice that I am acquiring even more little bumps and blips on my skin. Why does age bring little skin tags popping out all over my once smooth skin? It is not pleasant to realize that, if I live to be a hundred, I will probably look like a hedgehog as these little unwanted guests sprout all over my body.
I make my morning coffee and take it out onto the deck. The air is still cool but the sun is bright and warm, so I sit outdoors with a blanket and enjoy the first signs of spring. The daffodils are bright and lift my spirits, the willow leaves are gorgeous with the morning sun behind them. A red wing blackbird is at the feeder and dozens of quail are eating breakfast on the deck. I know that in a few minutes my two resident squirrels will be entertaining me with their morning acrobatics in the willow trees.
Life is good, I thing of the hymn “All things bright and beautiful, the Lord God made them all”. He really did and I am so lucky to be old enough to have the time to sit out here and enjoy them. Thankyou God for giving me this beautiful day and the sense to realise that I am a valued part of your creation. Life is good.
Publisher’s Note: Pat if you are still here when I expire make sure – that hymn “All things bright and beautiful” – is the anthem for my walk into the church/hall/service. Over time I will give you more music that must be played….. and yes…………….. “Life IS good.”