When I was in my forties, I belonged to a women's group at church. I looked around me.
There were actually very beautiful women around me. Their eyes shone when they spoke to me. They were gentle and had such a peace about them.
I remember one woman in particular was a well known portrait artist. She had just finished a portrait of a young man severely handicapped with cerebral palsy. The young gentleman shook and jerked all the time. A photographer could never get a photo of the young man that represented the truly loving spirit of the young man. Well, my friend painted the young man's portrait on a large canvas that hung in the family foyer. She was able to capture the young man's continence between the involuntary shaking and jerks. The family was thrilled with the portrait. The young man was also very pleased with the portrait. This was truly a work of love, patience and skill.
But also attending these women meetings was a lady living just a couple doors down from this lady even younger in age but who was grouchy and angry. She had lots of pains and physical complaints. She spoke with a raspy voice while always puffing on a cigarette. It was true her life had been filled with tragedy and sadness. Her husband had been depressed and tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head. But all he managed to do was make himself go blind. So he became a more difficult burden for her. Her daughter had arrived home to see her father's head splattered on the wall and never recovered from the shock. So the woman cared for the blind husband and the now dependent daughter for another 30 years.
So I asked this group of women........what is the secret to ageing gracefully. I really wanted to know.
and they told me this secret ----which so far I think is very true. The secret to Ageing Gracefully is to learn to deal with loss. Loss of eyesight, loss of short term memory, loss of loved ones, loss of youth, loss of ability to move up the corporate ladder, loss, loss,,,,,,
You learn it over the years. You lose small things, then with each loss you practice how to release and let go, You no longer can hike the hills or do the sports you once did, your eyes need reading glasses, you say good-bye to a dear friend, your get up and go---just one day gets up and leaves. Everything slows down.
So here I am releasing and letting go------- I still do lots but just a little slower. My son has moved to New York where he moves even faster than he use to move ---which was remarkably fast. But it had been over 10 years since he had taken me to a grocery store. He could not believe how slow I moved. But when you do not have to move as fast as you once did ---- you do slow down.
I am so blessed to be surrounded by some very awesome aunts who at very advance years still work, exercise regularly and are very engaged with their families and friends. They are truly gracious ladies. So I am learning.......
So I am moving slower and releasing the loss. But it is okay. I do not know what tomorrow will bring but I do know WHO will be there with me all the way.
So now you know the secret---- and for 20 years it has truly rang true for me.
The secret to Ageing Gracefully is to learn to deal with loss.
Another Ruth Truth......