Keeping Up With the Jameses

Adventures in Modern Day Motherhood

Gratitude Month – Day 25 – Wisdom and Experience November 25, 2009

Filed under: 406 — mommyoffive @ 8:43 pm

“If you have lived, take thankfully the past.”  ~John Dryden

My amazing grandparents

Every year during the month of November, our ward (religious congregation) has the opportunity to provide religious services for our local nursing home.  The offspring and I signed up to help out today.  We didn’t do very much – Daniel, Emma, Josh and I each presented a little Thanksgiving thought (Elisabeth slept through the whole thing, and Sarah and Jakob were attending a preschool Thanksgiving party), we sang a few hymns, and then a neighbor brought homemade bread and jam for a treat.  In return, we were rewarded with grateful smiles and delightful visits.

I am so grateful for the elderly around us.  I am thankful for their examples of perseverance as they try to deal gracefully with aging.  I am thankful for the lives they led, for their hard work in building our community.  I am thankful for their work ethic, for their frugality, and for the way they always manage to be the best neighbors.  I am especially thankful that for the last 15 years, we have lived near “surrogate grandparents” for our children.  They are wonderful people.

I Am Not What You See

I didn’t always look this way;
All wrinkled and sagging,
Hair wispy and gray.
My teeth in a glass,
My muscles grown frail,
My vision fast falling,
Skin sallow and pale.
You might be surprised,
Had you seen me at eight,
With eyes bright and eager,
Awaiting life’s fate.
I ran with swift feet,
And sureness of gait,
Each day was so sweet,
Adventures so great!
At twenty, the world
Was at my command.
My future was rosy
My time in demand.
At thirty, I’d conquered
Many a foe,
Well loved and respected
By those in the know.
At forty, established,
With wealth and some fame,
My goals half accomplished
My deeds won acclaim.
At fifty, successful
With future assured,
All systems were “Go”,
All holds were secured.
How could this happen?
How could this be?
How could somebody
Play this trick on me?
While I wasn’t looking,
While I didn’t see,
Somehow an old body
Was traded for me.
I stagger, I tremble,
I drool, I complain,
My limbs won’t sustain me.
My body knows pain.
Now dawdling, Now dreaming,
What happened to me?
Where is that person
That I used to be?
You see me defeated,
Exhausted and slow,
My life almost ended,
My time running low.
Be gentle and kind,
As you tend to my needs.
In caring for me,
You are planting your seeds.
For someday, it may
Be you in this place,
Submissive and broken,
In need of God’s grace.


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