Seniors And Aging

“The trees of the Lord are full of sap, the cedars of Lebanon which He hath planted” Psalms 104:16.  For a tree to grow it must be full of sap.  Otherwise, it is certain to dry up and wither.  Trees get their sap from the moisture surrounding the roots, whereby, the roots of the Lord’s trees have a direct water supply since they are planted by rivers of living water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:1-3

So, we are told that we should be like a tree. The phrase symbolizes progressive growth.  Over a period of time, as he meditates in the word, he grows and becomes like a tree.  Therefore this man is blessed, and continually drinks from this river.  Therefore, he can bring forth good fruit, but, also leaves.  Fruit is for meat.  And a good tree bears fruit that feeds the hungry passerby.  Then, we also see that the leaf is for medicine which speaks of healing, deliverance, therapy, remedy, curative or restorative.  A good tree has leaves that heal and restore, where the enemy has tried to devour.  I feel I am like that tree, as I have overcome so much.

A lot of you bruised and hurt peoples need my leaves.  A lot of you may have troubles of your own, may want to give up.  Don’t quit.  Apply life’s lessons here to yourselves.  Failure is refusing to get up one more time.  The medicine god speaks about is never a drying, dying, or withering ministry or word.  I may be getting old in years, but, I still have rivers of flowing waters.  I may start to shrivel in the natural with age, but, by my spirit of the living God, I am His tree next to that river.  It was awesome when I wrote my book, years ago, to see the revelation that He’s been giving me.  For even when my job is done with what I wanted in my son’s memory, and God takes me home one day, my rivers of flowing waters will still live along with my B.J. in my books and all my blogs here and other sites.

We need to have an inner healing that is of God, healed from inner hurts and wet with oil.  “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.  They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; to shew that the Lord is upright. He is my rock and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”  Psalms 92:12-15.  Whereby, when older people feel they have nothing to offer and leave it to the young?  They are wrong!  They can still bring forth fruit in old age, for the more we live and learn, and grow in the Lord, the more fruit we will bear.

So you think as a senior your withered up and all done?  That’s not what I just quoted on being a tree is it?  The following bits of trivia was published in Modern Maturity, and I found it extremely interesting.

“Poet Stanley Kunitz won a National book award in 1995, at age 90, for his book of poems “Passing Through”.  Another noted poet, Mark Strand exclaimed, “One of America’s great poets, “Most people dry up at 50.  For him to be writing poems at 90 is just incredible.”  William Butler Yeats published “Last Poems ” and two plays at age 73, in the year he died.  Playwright George Bernard Shaw won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925 at age 69 and was at work on a new play when he died at 94.  Maya Angelou, born in 1928, is writing at the ripe- not dried up – age of 80.” Their trees grew branches and bore fruit.

Maturity goes on to say in this article by Ben Cohen, “Why does it matter?  Because creativity, which I define as our innate capacity for growth, is empowering.  (That is why I still write at 70.  I love it!..I love my art and oil painting, and other projects.)  It is the energy that allows us to think a different thought, express ourselves in a novel way, and knows no age!  Creativity is not just for geniuses.  Wisdom can’t be taught.  It is a developmental mix of age, knowledge, and practical life experience; plus the brain function that allows us to integrate those pieces to achieve insight, which we can then apply to a variety of life’s circumstances.  Well, we’ve already been there, done that, yet sadly, many won’t take our advice.

There are many “oldies” that are a witness to what age can do.  Look at George H. W. Bush, now  who at 85, just parachuted out of another airplane again at 85! And Tony Bennett was just part of the Christmas show in NYC Times Square, still swinging at 86!

My favorite of course was Eleanor Roosevelt.  A shy shy woman that had  to adapt to public life and her marriage to FDR.  In her 60’s she emerged in a new way int3rnationally.  In losing a spouse and in her pain when he had an affair, she still remained loyal and became his “legs”.  Mrs. Roosevelt was 61 when President Truman appointed her until she was 68 and was chairman of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.  She was an impressive figure, and continued speaking engagements and writing in her 70’s.

Verdi composed his masterpiece at age 74 (Othello) and Falstaff at 80.  Sarah Bernhardt despite losing a leg in her 70’s acted until her death at age 78.  Ella Fitzgerald in spite of diabetes, kept working in her 70’s when she later lost both her legs and died.  I have a video on my jazz blog, “Tribute”, of Ella being presented an award, with Nancy Wilson and Art Jarou, and the “lady” sang in her 80’s with all that music inside her..just radiating all the gifts God gave her and that music in her soul.  Age wasn’t even a consideration, while the crowd gave her a standing ovation.  How I still remember and loved my Ella I saw 7 times live.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Guggenheim Museum in NY at 91.  Dr. Seuss wrote Cat in the Hat at 53, and Your only Old Once at 82.  Beautiful Black author Toni Morrison, won her Pulitzer Prize for Beloved, at age 57, and received the Nobel prize for Literature at 62.  So who says we’re all washed up? (Politicians now in Washington…take note with your health plan!)  The list is endless.  Youth can learn from us older folks and we can learn from youth, and men can learn from women, and we can learn from races, and on it goes.  But, hatred to does not fit into this!

Black author James Baldwin, said once in “Tell me How Long the Trains Been Gone”, which I read in my 20’s, that the reason people can’t face their hates, is they can’t face their pain!”  Life isn’t necessarily fair or easy, but, we all have to face what is inside us, to keep on going productively and with a positive, loving attitude, to contribute to this life, not destroy it!  There is no limitations or restrictions on us to learn and help inspire others no matter what age we are.

I had an 85 year old neighbor who still wrote newspaper columns.  He has more degrees, and is a brilliant man who feeds his brain.  And he even has a web cam on his computer, to keep in touch with his family, which I haven’t even thought of yet.  I have 2 ladies in my DAR who are both 95.  My Elizabeth lives around the corner from me, and is STILL our treasurer, and let me tell you,  nothing gets passed her!  Plus she took a cruise in April and just came back from visiting her brother in TX.  These ladies have arthritic pain, but, they are still contributing to our town and society as many in our local Historical Society who are seniors.  We aren’t dead and buried yet!  And listen to me, Washington,  I want the same quality of life these people have.  At mid 70’s,  I have a way to go, and I want my Medicare left between me and my doctor!  Stay out of my life!  No darned bureaucrat in Washington is going to say how my doctor will treat me.. THAT IS ON THE LAWS ON THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, AND FEDERAL AS ELDER ABUSE!  Did anyone ever think of that?

Too many of us conjure negative impressions of the elderly.  They are no longer physically attractive, they are unproductive, they overuse health care funds, they overpopulate hospitals and are an inconvenience?!!! God, that is offensive to me!  Many that are in nursing homes never even get visits from their families. Which is a shame.  We reap what we sow, and that goes for Washington bureaucrats and Congress!

So reach out!  Try new things.  Get on the bandwagon and tell this President you still have a life to live, and want quality care, and a quality of life, and not a euthanasia pill to drop dead like they do in Russia!  (And by the way here is a thought to that…Life insurance companies do not pay on suicide usually, so how would that work?  CALL, write, email, speak out, and tell the Congress you do not want this Health Care.  You still have dreams, plans, and want a life!  Don’t let yourself be defeated. Move!  Use your life experiences to help others.  Volunteer. Go to church, most provide rides. Get out of self!  But, more than anything? Don’t give up or give in!

Will I Wake in Heaven?
I am feeling slow;
I know someday soon
will be time to go.
Tomorrow when I wake,
Will I be here on earth;
Will I still face my death
Or will I know my rebirth?
I can’t tell you now
Because nobody knows
Whether I’ll dress in my clothes
Or in heavenly robes.
All I know is I’m tired
And life’s no longer sweet,
And I’m ready to rest
Lying safe at God’s feet.
author unknown

“Death ends a life, but it struggles for a resolution that it will never find.”
author unknown.

Middle Age
How oft we reflect to our youth back in time,
Remembering the beauty we once possessed when all was sublime.
A simpler life, with so ardent admirers,
Dreams and aspirations and all He bestowed us;
Through the wearing of years and all we endured,
Complexities and tragedies a  life that prevailed.
Now we made it through menopause and middle age,
Such an appreciation for life’s frail meaning we gained.
For middle age has a lot to be desired,
We’re back to simplicity, the struggles ended unmired.
JWorthen 5/2002
Copyright 2004, “Restoration Road”

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