Alice went into a home at age 95. They asked her what activities she would like to do: crochet baby bonnets or perhaps a sing-a-long?
“Highland dancing,” she responded briskly.
That's idealized old age. Like the man who had difficulty fitting in a theatre trip, because of the square dancing classes he taught. He also was 95.
But most of us aren't that able. Certainly, my back precludes doing either and I am 20 years younger. However, I want to make a case that growing old is the most precious time of all, full of possibility – and I don't mean bucket lists.
You see, you are comfortable in your skin. None of the mistakes and uncertainty of being young. None of the competition, the beating yourself up. No career ladder. It is like coming to a meadow at the top of a hill.
And the greatest adventure of all is ahead. It's not about what I am doing or what I possess; it's all about how? And who?
How will I meet the end? Who do I need to be? I see dying as standing at a doorway – and through that arch is something beautiful, perhaps like stepping into a symphony. Not a time of judgement or fear, but of embrace. What matters is not being chairman of a bank or a world traveler, but how I have honed my soul, so that I am worthy to join this orchestra. The sadness would be to arrive and see this beauty, but be too shallow to play its song.
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith 'A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!'