Menopause

The Not Worrying Flowers

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 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest?  Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.

The beloved passage from Luke. Those words that encourage us NOT to worry.

My friend Jane, like me, does children’s sermons at church. The key to a good children’s sermon is to say something important the kids can understand on their kid level and the grownups can ponder on a grown up level.

Jane pointed to the flowers on the table behind her. “Look at them? Do they look worried?”

First I smiled. Nope. Those flowers look as happy as can be.

My next thought: But those flowers SHOULD be worried! They’re going to be dead in a few days.

(For someone who aspires to the upbeat, those dark thoughts can splash in.)

And then I got it.The flowers are going to die, and they still AREN’T worrying.

I spent my later fifties oh so shocked and sad that my years were thinning. I get the impression I worried about dying more than others do.

But in 2015, my mother’s death and the enormous resolve and courage she showed, helped me worry less about my own demise. Mom took on everything as an adventure, even dying. Her attitude amazed us all.

Those bold, beautiful church flowers (pictures above and below) surely drooped and died a few days later. Weren’t they smart not to worry? They didn’t waste their earthly hours feeling sad.

Flowers

What about you?

Do you think about dying a lot now that you are older? Are you scared? Resolved? Hopeful?

Do tell!

Aging, Life

Services on Wednesday for Barbara Younger

I’m glad the above Barbara Younger isn’t me, or I’d be dead.

And if that Barbara Younger were alive, she’d probably rather not be me. The obit goes on to say that Barbara Younger opened her home to students, faculty, and visiting scholars at UVA for forty years.  I’m not that great of a cook.  She might have been embarrassed, if she were me, when some of those visiting scholars tasted the pie crust.

I post this obit not to be silly or flippant.  Have you ever googled your name and come up with an obit?  Sobering!

Sobering, yes, but I am practicing dying.

I don’t mean that to be flippant either.

I have a feeling that accepting death will make the remaining years of life happier, and so I’m trying to make peace with the concept.  Before age fifty-five, there was no way.  But something hit me that year that made me think, well maybe, maybe it’s okay you don’t get to live forever on earth.  (But only maybe.)

And so I want to work harder to appreciate the years I have left.

And I want to work harder to accept the terms of life.  I didn’t exactly sign up for them, but fighting them seems of little purpose.

I wish I could ask the other Barbara Younger how it feels to be dead.

Maybe I’ll get to at a Behind the Pearly Gates Girlfriend Gathering.  “Hi Barbara Younger!  I’m Barbara Younger!  What do you think of our name?  A little plain, or nice and easy because people can usually spell it?”

But back to earth.  How about you?  No matter your age, how do you feel about departing this world someday?

Photo:  You can read more about this lovely woman here.