Tag Archives: aging

Secret of Life

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Read this wonderful story today:

On the first day of classes, our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned round to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me. She said, “Hi handsome, my name is Rose, and I am eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?”

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze. We became instant friends. Everyday for the next three months, we would leave class together and talk nonstop. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went.

At the end of the year, we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us.

After the introduction, she stepped up to the podium, cleared her throat and began . . .

“We don’t stop playing because we’re old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humour every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!”

“There’s a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything, I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don’t have regrets for we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.”

At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to her. She taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.

These words have been passed along in loving memory of Rose:

“Remember growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional. We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

In youth we learn; in age we understand. ~ Source Unknown

 

6 Comments

July 16, 2016 · 10:48 AM

Our Queen Elizabeth

Remember Elizabeth? We still care for her. My husband and daughter are in the construction business together. Whenever all three of us have to work, Amy then steps in and cares for her while we’re gone.

Elizabeth loves people. She’s always been full of life, charm and plenty of spirit. Although more frail than before, she still believes in 90% attitude and 10% circumstance. Her favorite song: No matter what the circumstances, what I feel or see – the Word of God is working mightily in me.

Elizabeth loves to laugh, crack a joke, watch the Kentucky Derby and cackle at America’s Funniest Videos. She loves The Lawrence Welk Show, and would go right on dancing if only she could.

I’ve known her for over thirty-five years. She may not be able to walk anymore, she may have limitations, forget what day it is, or if it’s morning or night. But her heart continues to beat. Her wit is still sharp, as well as her tongue.

They say the Lord sometimes works in mysterious ways. A few years back due to circumstances beyond our control, we needed a place to call home. Elizabeth needed someone reliable and dependable to care for her. She pointed out the obvious and insisted upon the arrangement. Bonds were sealed. Hearts were mended.

While we attend to Elizabeth’s daily necessities, she is grateful and cannot express enough how much she appreciates us. But believe me when I say: It is she who has enriched our lives and we are grateful for her.

Once upon a time a horse and buggy rushed a mother to the hospital to give birth to a little girl. The year was 1911. It is a fact that Elizabeth was a one-year-old during the Titanic. Yes, she will be 105-years-young on January 6th.

As the Lord continues to give us the grace needed daily in performing this important task, He reminds us how much sweet Elizabeth is teaching us about life.

To know our Queen Elizabeth is to love her!

As I age, may I emulate her God-giving longevity and passion for living life to its fullest.

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Elizabeth, 40 yrs.

 

“Lord, teach me to number my days so that I may apply my heart unto wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

About "Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit & Grace"

12 Comments

Filed under Centenarian, Elderly Care

Oh, Those Golden, Centenarian Years!

I told this story before and it bears repeating.

The lessons in life with its many twists and turns has been an amazing journey. I often think: What legacy will I leave behind when I’m finished with this race? What I do today, will it count for something tomorrow? When I’m long gone, will I merely be a faded memory, or burn in someone’s heart? Will my deeds be forgotten? Lost? Or buried?

I’ve read about some incredible women. These women did not allow age, status, limitations, or even imprisonment to keep them from their destiny. As fleeting as it is, they knew their self-worth and value in this life. Women like Mother Teresa who gave 50 years of service to the poor, the sick, the orphans, and the dying in Calcutta India. Women like Corrie ten Boom who spent 10 months in a concentration camp, who at the age of 53 began a worldwide ministry that took her into more than 60 countries in the next 33 years of her life. I didn’t know them personally, but they were admirable, inspirational women.

They made a difference.

Many endearing women have come into my life, not only as friends, but as mothers, sisters, and grandmothers. While each embodies unique gifting, each holds a special place in my heart.

One such individual is Elizabeth. She loves people. She is full of life, charm and wit. She believes in having a 90% attitude and 10% circumstance. She loves to laugh, crack a joke, watch the Kentucky Derby, share about her travels around the world, read anything that takes her miles away, watch The Lawrence Welk Show, and go right on dancing if only she could.

I’ve known her for over thirty years, but within the past couple of years, she’s been unable to use her walker. She cannot walk anymore, nor can she read as once before. Yes, she sometimes forgets, yet her mind is still intact; her wits still sharp, as well as her tongue. My husband, daughter and I take care of her. We have a care provider that also comes in. While we attend to Elizabeth’s daily needs, she is teaching us all about life.

And did I mention a horse and buggy rushed her to the hospital and that she was one-years-old during the Titanic? That’s right, Elizabeth was born in 1911. You do the math.

To know Elizabeth is to have your life enriched.

As I age, may I emulate her love and passion for living.

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Bind us together, Lord …

© M.A. Pérez 2015, All Rights Reserved

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9 Comments

Filed under Aging, Golden Years

Ageless!

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Age. Aging. Ageless.

I rarely think about my age but the body has a way of reminding me whenever I throw my back out or my knee pops. And yes, in the mirror I sometimes notice an extra line here, another wrinkle there, and as I gaze upon certain areas of my physique I find myself wondering, where did “it” go and when did “that” change?

From time to time I muse about my early years in having to grow up so fast, and then in my teens and young adulthood in raising four children. Next thing I knew my twenties were gone, and my marriage was deteriorating. Divorced in my thirties (I felt like a failure but ya know, the world did not end), and remarried by my mid-thirties (thank God for new beginnings). I can shout from the rooftop that no marriage is so good that it can’t be made better! (You see, I’ve been married most of my life.) Then when I approached my early forties, the seasons changed again for me, this time, embracing the wonders of grand-parenting.

So, in my fifties, as I reflect on this aging process—knowing I certainly don’t have all the answers—I’ve learned a thing or two about what life has dealt me.

I read in Psalms 90:12: So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”  This passage speaks to me and tells me to make each day count. I must remember to live in the present, not in the yesterdays or in the tomorrows. I must laugh often, love deeply, pray sincerely, and believe that my best days are before me.

As my birthday quickly approaches around the corner (like tomorrow the 27th), I can’t help but think: have I done all I ever wanted to do? Of course, the answer is a resounding: Not even close. Am I running out of time? I believe life is a gift from God and I’ll take each day and cherish the moment. He is the reason for every good thing, every heartbeat, and every second chance.

Age … aging … ageless …?

I’ll take ageless!

I may not know what tomorrow holds, but I know Who holds my tomorrows.

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19 Comments

Filed under Aging, Birthday

This Lesson About Life

The lesson about life with its many twists and turns has been an amazing journey. I often think: What legacy will I leave behind when I’m finished with this race? What I do today, will it count for something tomorrow? When I’m long gone, will I merely be a faded memory, or burn in someone’s heart? Will my deeds be forgotten? Lost? Or buried?

I’ve read about some incredible women. These women did not allow age, status, limitations, or even imprisonment to keep them from their destiny. As fleeting as it is, they knew their self-worth and value in this life. Women like Mother Teresa who gave 50 years of service to the poor, the sick, the orphans, and the dying in Calcutta India. Women like Corrie ten Boom who spent 10 months in a concentration camp, who at the age of 53 began a worldwide ministry that took her into more than 60 countries in the next 33 years of her life. I didn’t know them personally, but they were admirable, inspirational women.

They made a difference.

Many endearing women have come into my life, not only as friends, but as mothers, sisters, and grandmothers. While each embodies unique gifting, each holds a special place in my heart.

One such individual is Elizabeth. She loves people. She is full of life, charm and wit. She believes in having a 90% attitude and 10% circumstance. She loves to laugh, crack a joke, watch the Kentucky Derby, share about her travels around the world, read anything that takes her miles away, watch The Lawrence Welk Show, and go right on dancing if only she could.

I’ve known her for over thirty years, but within the past couple of years, she is unable to use her walker. She doesn’t walk anymore. Yet her mind is still intact; her wits still sharp, as well as her tongue. My husband, daughter and I take care of her. While we attend to her daily needs, she is teaching us about life. Oh, and did I mention a horse and buggy rushed her to the hospital and that she was one-years-old during the Titanic?

That’s right, Elizabeth was born in 1911. You do the math.

To know Elizabeth is to have your life enriched.

As I age, may I emulate her love and passion for living.

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© M.A. Perez 2013, All Rights Reserved

20 Comments

October 24, 2013 · 10:26 PM

Faded Roses?

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Age. Aging. Ageless.

I rarely think about my age but the body has a way of reminding me whenever I throw my back out or my knee pops. And yes, in the mirror I sometimes notice an extra line here, another wrinkle there, and as I gaze upon certain areas of my physique I find myself wondering, where did “it” go and when did “that” change?

From time to time I muse about my early years in having to grow up so fast, and then in my teens and young adulthood in raising four children. Next thing I knew my twenties were gone, and my marriage was deteriorating. Divorced in my thirties (I felt like a failure but the world did not end), and remarried by my mid-thirties (thank God for new beginnings). I can shout from the rooftop that no marriage is so good that it can’t be made better! (You see, I’ve been married most of my life.) Then when I approached my early forties, the seasons changed again for me, this time, embracing the wonders of grand-parenting.

So, in my fifties, as I reflect on this aging process—knowing I certainly don’t have all the answers—I’ve learned a thing or two about what life has dealt me.

I read in Psalms 90:12: So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”  This passage speaks to me and tells me to make each day count. I must remember to live in the present, not in the yesterdays or in the tomorrows. I must laugh often, love deeply, pray sincerely, and believe that my best days are before me.

As my birthday quickly approaches around the corner, I can’t help but think: have I done all I ever wanted to do? Of course, the answer is a resounding: Not even close. Am I running out of time? That’s God’s business. I believe life is a gift from God and I’ll take each day and cherish the moment. He is the reason for every good thing, every heartbeat, and every second chance.

I love the lyrics to “Every Good Thing” by The Afters:

I tend to be busier than I should be
I tend to think that time is going to wait for me
Sometimes I forget and take for granted
That it’s a beautiful life we live
I don’t want to miss the moments like this
This is a beautiful life You give

You’re the reason for every good thing, every heartbeat
Every day we get to breathe
You’re the reason for anything that lasts, every second chance
Every laugh
Life is so sweet
You’re the reason for every good thing

There will be days that give me more than I can take
But I know that You always make beauty from my heartache
Don’t want to forget or take for granted
That it’s a beautiful life we live
I’m not going to miss the moments like this
This is a beautiful life You give

It’s our family, it’s our friends
It’s the feeling that I get when I see my children smile
You’re the reason for this life, everything we love
It’s You alive in us
You’re alive in us

You are here in every moment, and I know that You’re every good thing
You are here in every moment, and I know that You’re the reason for
You are every good thing

For the love I still see in my children’s eyes, the laughter in my grandchildren’s voices, the warmth of my husband’s embrace, the scent of rain lingering in the air, and the taste of grateful tears streaming down my cheeks, I am thankful for the goodness of God in granting me another year.

Someone said that age is a myth and beauty is a state of mind. I like that.

Faded roses? No. May I grow old gracefully, forever blooming where I am planted, one petal at a time.

A heartfelt thanks to my lovely daughter, Anna, for putting this video together

A heartfelt thanks to my lovely daughter, Anna, for putting this video together

 

© M.A. Perez, 2013, All Rights Reserved

 

22 Comments

August 24, 2013 · 9:04 PM

Confession of a Daughter

I’m jealous.

I confess.

I don’t think I ever grasp this concept until now. It pains me to admit this, but it’s true. Whenever I hear other’s express their close bond that they have with their mothers, I marvel how grand that must be!

And it stings.

Mama used to say: “You can have ten fathers but only one mother.”

I heard that line growing up and believed it. After my parents divorced, I had three different step-dads. I didn’t want to share my mama, she wasn’t married to any of them. I wanted us to be by ourselves. But Mama was too busy for me. I’m sure she did the best she could, but nurturing wasn’t in her DNA. Left on my own a great deal, I was a neglected child.

Loneliness was my middle name.

At age nine, once we moved to Florida, my grandma was more like a mother to me. I knew then what a mother’s love felt like and it just wasn’t the same as Mama’s. Oh, to be sure, I love my mama; she gave birth to me. But because I had no choice but to grow up too fast, our roles had always been reversed.  Most of the time, I felt like I was the mother. I wasn’t a model teenager either, and couldn’t wait to leave home in search of love.

The miles separate, the years have passed, Mama and I have since aged. I look back and forgive my past; it has made me who I am today. I’ve had to learn to forgive my mama a hundred times over, whose harshness and demeanor become more passive and feeble with time. She’s not perfect. And neither am I.

I am a mother now. And I pray that my own children will always feel my love.

No matter what.

It takes work. Prayer.

And much forgiveness.

Our communication skills remain much to be desired. I’ll keep working at it.

Mother’s Day is around the corner. It has always been so complicated for me in choosing the right Mother’s Day card. Maybe this time I won’t have to keep putting the cards back on the shelf in search for the one that describes Mama perfectly.

Maybe, I’ll write one for her myself:

To my one and only Mama.Me and Mom

I loved you then.

I love you now.

No matter what.

Love always, your little girl.
© M.A. Perez, 2013, All Rights Reserved

7 Comments

May 2, 2013 · 9:56 PM