Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Growing Old With Grace


This doesn't have a whole lot to do with books but I thought with my 60th birthday passing by on May 25th this would be a timely post. I wrote this about the time I had my first book published and I want to keep on writing as long as I can. Yes, I still feel melancholy sometimes, but most of the time I don't even think of my age.  I want others to know you can achieve your goals, too, no matter your age. You just need the passion and perseverance.


Growing Older with Grace or


I Thought I was still Fourteen until I Looked in the Mirror


     I had arrived at my Aunt Helen’s funeral. I looked around the old wooden church building, one I had visited many times as a child, in hopes of spotting my cousins. There they were! I was shocked! Someone had stolen my cousins and zipped them up in old people’s bodies. I couldn’t believe it.


     They weren’t supposed to have gray hair and wrinkled faces. And what was Uncle Bill doing sitting up front? Uncle Bill had died many years ago – oh, that’s not Uncle Bill that’s my cousin Billy.


     Then the realization hit me. I was the same age as my cousins. Did I look old to them? I must have because everyone kept saying I looked like my mother.


     I made it through the funeral with many tears shed. I loved my Aunt Helen. She was my Daddy’s sister and she understood him and loved him even though he could be stubborn as a mule. While they were showing the pictures slides of my Aunt Helen and her family, memories came flooding back.


     There was Uncle Bill and Aunt Helen together as I remembered them. We would go to Phenix City, Alabama often to visit my Daddy’s other sister Aunt Maudie. When we did we never failed to go out to the old home place and play with our cousins and have an evening meal. After the funeral I visited the home place and the old farmhouse where we had many wonderful times that weaved a blanket of memories was no longer there.


     The barn was, though. As we drove up the long sandy driveway I spotted the barn. Memories literally flooded my mind. The tears flowed and would not stop. They lasted all the way home – a four hour drive, and for three more days. I had so many mixed emotions. Why was I crying?


     I called my friend and asked her was I going crazy. She assured me that I wasn’t – I was already there. With that being said she told me she had gone through similar feelings.


     I felt a loss for that little girl who used to play barefooted for hours at a time with her cousins and then when she was worn out be called in to have a family meal. We were all seated around one long wooden table with benches on both sides. The table, spread with home grown vegetables, was a place to visit and talk with those you loved at the end of the day. After supper, Aunt Helen served the best apple turnovers ever made.  


     I longed for the time when things were simpler. A time when we didn’t have any and everything electronic to occupy our minds. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my computer and cell phone, but that simple time will never return. A time when children used their imaginations during play. I missed my mother. I missed my daddy and I missed my childhood.


     I think the hardest realization to deal with was my own mortality. Out of eleven children there is only one of Daddy’s sisters still living. On my mothers side there is only a brother. I am in the next generation that will start to pass away into a better life. And even though I knew there is a better and everlasting life that awaits me the thought of my own mortality hit me like a ton of bricks.


     I didn’t know what to do with the emotions. I had a decision to make. To give up and decide I was too old to do the things I love or find a way to keep the negative thoughts at bay and make the rest of my life count.  Three books later guess which way I chose?





    




    







7 comments:

  1. As seniors, we are among the lucky ones who find purpose through our writing.

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    1. Amen I was just saying the same thing the other day.

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  2. This is the time in life when we actually HAVE time to write. Good, quality uninterrupted time too! Plus, we have experience. One thing younger writers lack is life experience, and that makes such a big difference in the richness of our words. Great post, Deborah!

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  3. I can so relate to what you said. With the passing of 2 aunts on my dad's side of the family, my cousin, bless her heart, informed me that we "were" the "older" generation. She told me the other day that her nieces will be having babies later this year, so the next generation continues.
    I enjoy the blog and comments made on it very much.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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  4. I was 50 when I published my first book. Why did I wait so long? Well it seems the Lord had this plan...

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  5. I agree with Linda. I'd read thousands of books over my life, but it wasn't until my children were in high school a decade ago that I was able to concentrate long enough to consider writing one. It's for the best, because I've lived and loved, and it comes through in my writing.

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  6. I published my first book after 40, a year after getting into a terrible car accident. I was in bad shape with a concussion and realized - what if I was unable to think or write again? I would have never written a book or made that dream come to life. Now I am inspired to write more and just need a bit of extra time to do it.

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