#aging

THESE EYES

 

I took a long look in the mirror this morning and boy was I surprised…I think the best way to put it would be…I couldn’t believe my eyes.

 

There was a time my eyes were much bluer…a brighter…vivid shade…

when…I wondered as I stared…did their color begin to fade?

 

And when did the skin underneath them begin to droop and sag…when did my once youthful face develop old man bags?

 

At first glance, I admit, I was taken aback…I was shook…so I leaned into the mirror to take a closer look.

 

Up close I didn’t see the bags or notice their color had lost their sheen…up close all I saw were all the wonders these eyes have seen.

 

Yes, these eyes may have grown a little older…they may have developed a few scars…but they’ve also seen the colors of a rainbow…sunsets…the ocean…shooting stars.

 

These eyes have seen love as it’s unfolded in many a shape and size…love both given and received I saw reflected in these eyes.

 

These eyes have seen me make mistakes…they’ve seen me make amends…they’ve been happy as they’ve witnessed the beginning of life…and sad to see life end.

 

They’ve seen flowers bloom in Spring…Fall colors and Winter snows…they’ve seen many a baby’s smile…o moonlit night…they’ve seen my family grow.

 

These eyes have seen the joys of living…they’ve seen its sadness and its fears…they’ve been overcome with laughter…they’ve been filled with tears. 

 

As I leaned back from the mirror…my vision seemed more keen…comforted and energized by all the sights my eyes have seen.

 

I walked away forgetting how much their color’s faded…or how those bags under Tham came to be…and excited to experience all the sights they’ve yet to see.

 

 

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CHILDREN F THE '60'S AND EARLY '70'S

 

 

Deborah’s 50th high school reunion starts today…one year late

because of Covid last year it was dismissed…

but vaccinated and wearing a mask this year she’s attending

which gives me this opportunity to reminisce…

 

We were children of the ’60’s and early ’70’s…

We stood up for kindness…for peace and love

our symbols were the peace sign…the flower and the dove

 

We were children of the ’60’s and early ’70’s…

It’s when we first experienced war and killing and bombs

in a place many of us had not heard of before…in the south of Vietnam.

 

We were children of the ’60’s and early ’70’s…

We learned how our world of psychedelic and tie-dyed colors could quickly turn to black

when some of us who fought in Vietnam…never made it back.

 

We were children of the ’60’s and early ’70’s…

We were shaped but not defined by that war…

We were sure we saw the world a little differently than those who came before.

 

We were children of the ’60’s and early ’70’s…

and many of us would grow up to be

more independent, 

more accepting

more innocent and free…

 

We were children of the ’60’s and early ’70’s…

And though it’s been…now…quite a while

We know…even if our taste in clothing has changed…kindness…peace and love will never go out of style.

 

We were children of the ’60’s and early ’70’s…

Who are no longer children…who have grown

Who now have lives and families

children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of our own…

 

Who when we think about the last 50 years

often pause and wonder how…

How we children of the 60’s and early ’70's

are in our 60’s and early ’70’s now.

 

 

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GROWING UP

 

 

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IN THE GLORY OF OLD AGE

They fell in love when they were young

at that time their love was all the rage

and through their jobs, 

their children 

their ups and downs

their love remained engaged.

 

With the children grown 

an empty house now became their stage

and their passion was rekindled

as they reached their middle age.

 

And now much older than before

they find their love is still the rage

as they settle down together

in the glory of old age.

 
 
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IF OUR SHADOWS COULD ONLY TALK

We stopped to let them walk by us…an old woman leading and old man

She was apologetic.  She said, “Forgive us…we’re moving as fast as we can.”

 

She said,  “you wouldn’t know to see him now”

her face grew sad and long

“but in his day he was big and tall…intelligent and strong.”

 

She said he was a lawyer…here a smile crossed her face…

and I don’t think in all his life…he ever lost a case.”

 

She said, “I was a full-time wife and mother. 

I was once young and lean and fit.

Together we raised four children…

and I loved every minute of it.

 

“I also loved to sing and dance and, if the truth be known,

I didn’t always dance with him…sometimes I’d dance alone.”

 

She smiled at the two of us…a smile both friendly and kind

and I noticed as they passed us 

how their shadows walked obediently behind.

 

And I observed as they walked away…

and to each other’s arms they clung

how their shadows didn’t show the ravages of age…

how their shadows seemed so young…

 

And I thought wouldn’t it be great if as we all grow older

and begin to walk a little more erratically 

if our shadows kept showing silhouettes 

of all people we used to be.

 

How wonderful to be followed by a movie of our life

played out in shadows for all to see…

So people would know not just the old person walking in front of them…

but to all the persons we used to be.



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BEHIND A WINDOW MADE OF GLASS

It is said life is one big circle which begins with our first breath

the circle then completes itself the moment of our death

 

Many of us begin our circle…when but a little time has passed

in a hospital…protected…behind a window made of glass.

 

It’s where our friends and relatives first visit us…

They come from near and far..it’s funny how they already know us

before we discover who they are.

 

In all likelihood we never noticed them…those who stop or wave or pass

Never noticed who was standing behind that window made of glass….

 

There are many in this pandemic…in whose circle much time has passed

who find themselves once again protected…behind a window made of glass.

 

Only now when their friends and relatives come to visit…

when they come from far and wide…

the person behind the window knows who’s on the other side.

 

And there is a sadness mixed with happiness to these moments…

Happy they can be together…happy to be seen

but sad the only way to touch each other is with a window in between…

 

Still reflected in the window…we can see their smiles shine…

Happy at least to have found a way…for their circles to intertwine.

 

And so we hope and pray for them

Hope and pray this pandemic will soon pass….

and they don’t end their lives as they began them…

behind a window made of glass.


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IT'S HERE

Old age doesn’t burst through the door…it takes time for it to arrive…

then one day you find yourself heading out to dinner at a little after five.

 

Hey, it pays to get there early…there are specials on the menu to be read, 

and we wanted to get back in time to watch the news…before we went to bed.

 

After we entered the restaurant and to our seats we strolled

I decided to keep my jacket on…to counteract the cold. 

 

When I first picked up the menu…I admit I was appalled

I thought, what am I reading…a contract…this print is much too small.

 

And I saw our waitress’s lips move when she handed us our bread

but she must have been talking in a whisper because I didn’t hear a word she said.

 

As I commented on the menu’s print, how loud it was….and how cold

I suddenly came to the realization…I have gotten old.

 

So I resolved I would embrace it…I smiled at Deborah, my wife

zipped up my jacket then proceeded to eat my tuna sandwich…

with my fork and knife.

 

After the waitress said “Thank you honey!” and from the restaurant we debarked…

I said, “That was a lovely evening…do you remember where we parked?”

 

On our way home I commented to Deborah about how our meal tasted great

except I was a little unnerved by that old guy across the room 

who seemed to be watching everything I ate.

 

She happily pointed out I was looking at a mirrored wall

and that old guy watching me…was me…

In my defense the lighting was a little dim

and my eyes aren’t what they used to be… 

 

As I say old age does not burst through the door…

it takes time for it to arrive

Sometimes it sneaks up on you …

at a restaurant…

while you’re eating dinner…

 

a little after five.



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WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO GROW OLD

His question was a simple one…if the truth be told.

The answer…not so simple: 

What’s the best way to grow old?

 

He received a myriad of responses.

Some said the best way to grow old is wealthy

others said where the weather’s warm

still others mentioned healthy

 

Some said they would like to grow old with dignity and grace

others merely wrote: with a smile on my face

 

Some said they’d like to grow old in the house where their children grew

others thought that wisdom would help to see them through…

 

In reading all the responses…he felt extremely blessed

but one answer he discovered stood out from all the rest.

 

One couple did not mention money, 

or health 

or any kind of weather

In answer to the best way to grow old…

they simply wrote: 

 

together


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ONE OF THE OLD FOLKS

I used to make fun of my dad’s age…saying with loving youthful vigor

“How come you’re getting shorter but your ears and nose are so much bigger?”

 

Oh, Dad would try to make a witty comeback…but usually it would bomb.

(makes me wonder where I got my talent for humor…must have been from Mom!)

 

So I guess it’s only payback or Karma…now that I’m one of the older folks

that I must listen to my children and grandchildren as they crack their old man jokes.

 

Like when they remind me how I’m over the hill and how I’m beginning to shrink…

And when they mention how my nose and ears are bigger…

I wonder…do they know they’re not as funny as they think?

 

They laugh when I say, “It’s nine o’clock…time to go to bed.”

and God forbid I ask, “Have you seen my glasses?” 

when they’re perched upon my head. 

 

They joke about my lack of hair and when their laughter clears

they remind me if I’m looking for hair…check inside my nose and ears.

 

In truth…I am quite content with getting older…I don’t think it is unfair.

I don’t mind a bit that I am bald because I never have to comb my hair.

 

And with my nose the size of a cucumber and two enormous ears

there are so many delicious aromas I smell…

so many wonderful sounds I hear.

 

Besides growing old is a part of life…we’re all growing older every day

and how wonderful it is to pause…and laugh at myself along the way.

 

I also smile as I sit back listening to these old jokes unfold…

knowing what a wonderful journey it’s been getting to be this old…

 

Finally, I have the satisfaction of knowing as joke after joke they tell bomb…

 

they didn’t get their talent for humor from me…(must have got it from their mom).


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