“I’m never going to get old,” Mary Sue tells me, as she tells me that age 50 is the new 30. “You’re only as old about as you feel,” she says, like Granny hasn’t heard that before. But I got something to tell that girl about getting old.
“I am old,” I remind her. “And I really am. That’s nothing to worry about either. You can sure want to stay pretty and smart, like you are. Getting old is something that happens to everyone, unless you die along the way. Your body changes, and your life goes in all different directions. People come in and out of your life, like the wind in Natchitoches Parish during hurricane season. Along the way, some of those changes might open the door to new things that are good for you. You have more time to spend with folks you love. You can read all those books at the library you been saying you don’t have time to read.”
“I am old, unless someone thinks I’m going to live until I’m 150, cause I’m not middle-aged as well. Old doesn’t mean worn out or useless, it just means more time to grow, to change and to learn new things. Even if you feel old, which means to most folks they got their rheumatism or their pain somewhere, you always have something inside you that can keep you thinking about tomorrow, no matter what. Still getting old means working at looking up, not down someplace, where your chin is or your tummy sags today.
“I am old and happy I got here with all of my loved ones, to see behind me all the things that have happened for many years, and ahead until the Man Upstairs tells me it’s time to sweep His floor. I look forward to that as just like getting old is something that makes me smile today and love my life no matter where it takes me next, as I hope the same for you.”