Aging Gracefully

A beautiful woman just passed away, she cultivated friendships like she did her precious orchids.  She often inspired us with her thoughts on everything from decorating to flowers, to friendship and travel.  In the spring she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and within a few months she was gone.

Aging is not a choice, and for some it is cut short, and if we wish to live we shall do it by aging.  I find myself discovering things about who I am through self-examination or through the reactions and discussions I have with others.  I am at odds with the person I sometimes show the world and the one who lives deep inside me, and sometimes I am sad.  I have gladly been the facilitator of others’ dreams, but the heiress of none.  After surviving the dark chasm of depression, I find myself more aware than ever of my role in life and its part in the lives of others. And I haven’t a single regret.

Yet, as much as I want to age not only gracefully but fulfilled, I believe the answer is somehow in finding my own personal dream and acting on it. This blog might just be it, or the first step on the path. I’ve conquered some mountains, I still have strength for more.

A friend I love dearly recently left her job for another that was completely different from what she had been doing.  I felt she was so brave.  We texted last night and she said she’d decided to quit the new job, it simply was not something she could do.  She understood her limitations, not because she didn’t test them, but because she did.  She’ll go back to her former position soon, but in the meantime she has this time of reflection, and my thoughts are still how brave she was to take a leap of faith.  I admire her for doing it; she is an amazing woman.

Another beautiful woman in my life grapples with how to forgive the hurts she feels from others.  The pain she feels is honest, real, and valid, but the inability to forgive makes the dull pain more exquisitely felt, like a sharp thorn.  Entrusting that thorn to the act of surrender will be a true act of courage and the thorn will fall away and become harmless like dust. And there it is again, forgiveness, a very common thread in my blog — faith and forgiveness.

I believe that a leap of faith, surrendering pain, or seeking the dreams (or “seeking the still” which my niece says) will not always mean that we will be successful, it means that God will use these things for His purpose and we may never know what purpose they served, or if it may simply be the example we set for others.

The Facebook wall of my friend who died is daily visited with many sentiments and photos.  It’s a legacy of love and life and honor that she leaves for us to remember her by, a life she lived with grace.

As I look at my friends, I see their example in my life–to live by grace, take chances, have the courage to love and risk being hurt, to forgive, and to leap.

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5 thoughts on “Aging Gracefully

  1. An amazing and remarkable post–very well said. Like you, I’m walking a new path learning about who I am, what I bring to this world and what will my legacy be when I’m gone, particularly as I get older. It’s scary territory at times, but a necessary one. Thankfully, Sam is a terrific guide and makes the journey all that more terrific. Like that saying going around social media, I want to go out with a bang shouting ‘weeeeee’ all the way while sliding into home plate–knowing it’s been it’s a great ride! ❤

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