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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Growing Old Gracefully

Yesterday, a lovely lady of 90 years took me and another friend to lunch. I thought afterwards that as long as I have known her from water exercise, keen Scrabble games, and our reflection group, she has been a living example of growing old gracefully. I guess I know many like that and lately have been thinking of how to grow old gracefully myself. There is a serenity, a peace, that communicates itself when I am with her and with others who have grown in wisdom and grace. It comes from reflection on the meaning of life - what really matters and what one can let go of as unimportant, trivial, and of no use when looking toward eternity. There is both detachment and an enthusiasm for what life gives us: the beauty of nature, the smile of a friend, the laughter of children, the companioning of others, the joy of good memories, etc. Lord, may I learn to grow old gracefully! May I focus on what is essential, learn eternal values, and let go of all the unimportant things. This life is too short to worry or fret about things that I cannot change but can accept with joy. Let me keep these remarkable elderly friends before my eyes as living examples of how to grow old gracefully.

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