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Jun 03, 2016 | The Rev. Micki Rios

Growing Old Isn’t for Sissies

 

One of the most famous quotes about old age is: “Growing old isn’t for sissies”. This quote came from the ac-tress, Bette Davis. One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Twain: “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

 

I have heard time and again, “I don’t mind getting older as long as …” You can fill in the blank: “My mind is good,” “I can do for myself,” “I don’t have to go to a nursing home,” etc.

 

Growing old is a gift that is not given to everyone. I desire, along with others, the ability to do for myself and to live at my home and to have my husband and children around me. However, families being what they are now, and people living longer, nursing homes are where some have to live.

 

The idea of working in a nursing home had never appealed to me and yet, the time I have been here has offered me the opportunity to learn more about aging, to learn how to live with the idea of aging, to understand that whether or not my mind or my body is cooperating with the desire of my heart that I am still worthy. The elders I have been privileged to be with have taught me that I can still enjoy my life whether

I recognize my family or not, whether I can see or hear well.

 

My grandmother would have been 106 this month; unfortunately she died in April at 105. I know she could not enjoy conversation anymore but she did visit. I know she could not see any more yet she knew where her food was and who was taking care of her. She couldn’t get out and walk her walk anymore but she continued to love people, especially those near her and those who cared for her. I know she was 105 but I still miss seeing her.

 

I know, here at SJH, the care of our staff toward residents is second to none. I watch their gentle hands and their sweet voices with those who cannot do for themselves anymore and I am humbled. I know it is a difficult job, especially when those we have loved to the end of their lives leave us, but thank God someone wants to do the job and love our loved ones as we love them.

 

My desire not to live in a nursing home is still there, however, I’m not afraid of being in one because of my experience of working at SJH.

 

“Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life” (Proverbs 16:31) there is much righteous life going on at SJH. 

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