I’ve been thinking a lot about age lately. Getting older, being old, and everything in between. Ageing in itself doesn’t bother me. Those couple of grey hairs…the few lines by my eyes…the deeper crease on my brow…it really doesn’t matter. Being old however terrifies me.
Strange contradiction you probably think, but I don’t think it is.
You see getting older, ageing, growing into yourself, these I think are wonderful things. You gain confidence with experience, and there’s nothing like living for gaining experience.
But being old…is a bitch. It’s cruel. It’s hard. And it is so very, very lonely.
My partner’s Grandfather is very ill and we go to the hospital to see him. Watching the slow deterioration and noting sadly every little detail of Old Age. The gnarled fingers that can barely hold a cup anymore that once tinkered with car engines, baited fishing hooks with skill, and shuffled the card deck at bridge. Ears that once heard the sweetest melody, the laughter from the lips of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren…now nothing but silence. Eyes once sharp and blue, now a dulled grey and missing pieces of the picture where it’s blurred at the edges. Legs that walked mountains can no longer hold him to stand and move from the bed to the chair.
Yeah, being old is a bitch.
But what’s more cruel is the way age strips away dignity, pride, and independence.
They say you leave this world exactly the way you come into it. Naked, alone, and usually bald. But I don’t think that’s totally accurate. Yes, you die…it comes to us all…but we don’t die in a vacuum. Most people pass away with family around them, friends who have loved them, and the world bears their mark. The world is changed in some way by every person that ever lived. I don’t necessarily mean the physical world, like shaping continents kinda thing…I mean the world in which they lived. The job they did, the things they made, people they have birth to and raised. No one–no matter how long or short their lives–leave the world the way it was when they were born. Everyone changes it…and those around them.
I’m leaving my mark. I can see it, and touch it, and see the way other people react to it too. And that’s all come with age. That horrible phrase. So no…getting older doesn’t bother me. But hell if I want to be old!
Anyone got directions to Neverland handy? I lost the map…