I received this piece in an e-mail yesterday from a dear friend and was moved by it to the point of feeling the need to share it with you. It follows in its entirety along with the name of the author. It is a disarming piece, maybe even a bit maudlin but it is also well worth some pondering and some deeper thought no matter our attained age.
There is a message contained in this piece that is often overlooked by those who are in the beginning or middle stages of their expected lifespans. Expected is the more operative word in that last sentence, but most of us recognize that what we expect isn’t always, or even often, what we get in this life. I hope this touches you, no matter your age or stage of life…
Time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday when I was young, just married and embarking on a new life with my mate. Yet, in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went.
I know I lived them all. I have photos and glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.
But here it is, the winter of my life — and it catches me by surprise. My mate is gone. How did I get here so quickly? Where did the years go and where did my youth go?
I remember seeing older people through the years and thinking they were years from me. Winter was so far off, I could not fathom or imagine fully what it would be like.
But, here it is. My friends are retired and gray. They move more slowly. I see old people now. Some are in better and some are in worse shape than I, but I see the great change. They are not the people I remember as young and vibrant, but they are like I: Their age is beginning to show and we are now those old folks we used to see and never thought we’d be.
Now I find that just taking a shower is a real target for the day. And taking a nap is not a treat anymore — it’s mandatory because if I don’t do it of my own free will, I just fall asleep where I sit!
And so, I’m in this final season of my life, unprepared for all of the aches and pains, the loss of strength and the ability to go and do things I wish I had done but never did. At least I know that though winter has come, and I’m not sure how long it will last, when it’s over on this earth, it’s over.
Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done. Things I wish I had done. Yet, indeed, there are many things I’m happy to have done. It’s all part of life.
So, if you’re not in your winter yet, let me warn you, it will be here quicker than you think.
Whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, please do it soon. Don’t put things off too long. Life goes by so quickly.
Do what you can today, because you can never be certain that you’ll see winter. You have no promise that you will live all the seasons of your life.
So live for today and say all of the things you want your loved ones to remember and hope they appreciate it and love you for all the things you have done for them in the years past.
Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one. Live it well! Enjoy today! Do something fun! Be happy! Have a great day every day!
The author is an 85-year-old Vacaville resident.