Life’s winter is brought to mind in many ways by events that occur only occasionally in the early years of life, but with an increasing frequency as the years roll by. In the early years departures of friends are recognized by going away parties and accompanied by visions of their new adventures or ventures awaiting them. Some by choice, others in response to external forces over which they have no control. You wish them well and hope to someday be reunited after completion of their journeys.
In the latter part of life the departures very often are represented by entry into nursing homes, going to live with relatives, or death. These departures are seldom by choice and become final journeys that are accompanied by the sadness of those left behind.
I have experienced this season of life in several ways – loss of parents, loss of a sibling, loss of relatives, and loss of close friends and acquaintances. I am also in the winter stages of life at 79 years of age in August of 2016. At this point in life I have experienced the ups and downs of life. I have had bad days, good days, and not-so-good days, but I am thankful for each and every one of them. Most of them have been good ones. I have had a taste of many aspects of life and am still in hope (faith) for the future.
The e-mail I received from an “old” friend and reprint below recognizes and expresses well this culminating winter of life. The author of this very perceptive composition is unknown. If identified, with proof, I will reluctantly remove it from my site if that is the wish of the proven author. An internet search for the author was not productive and variations of the composition appear on other sites without contribution to a known author.
Subject: From one old friend to another
THE BACK NINE
I FIRST STARTED READING THIS EMAIL & WAS READING FAST UNTIL I REACHED THE
THIRD SENTENCE. I STOPPED AND STARTED OVER READING SLOWER AND THINKING ABOUT
EVERY WORD. THIS EMAIL IS VERY THOUGHT PROVOKING. MAKES YOU STOP AND
AND THEN IT IS WINTER
You know … time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all.
I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams. But, here it is… the back nine of my life and it catches me by surprise…How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go?
I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that I was only on the first hole and the back nine was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like. But, here it is…my friends are retired and getting grey…they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me…but, I see the great change….Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant…but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d become.
Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore… it’s mandatory! Cause if I don’t on my own free will… I just fall asleep where I sit!
And so…now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!! But, at least I know, that though I’m on the back nine, and I’m not sure how long it will last…this I know, that when it’s over on this earth…it’s over. A new adventure will begin! Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done…things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I’m happy to have done. It’s all in a lifetime.
So, if you’re not on the back nine yet…let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don’t put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether you’re on the back nine or not!
You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life….so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember…and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!!
“Life” is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one. LIVE IT WELL! ENJOY TODAY! DO SOMETHING FUN! BE HAPPY! HAVE A GREAT DAY Remember “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.
LASTLY, CONSIDER THIS: Your kids are becoming you……but your grandchildren are perfect! Going out is good. Coming home is better! You forget names…. But it’s OK because some people forgot they even knew you!!! You realize you’re never going to be really good at anything like golf. The things you used to care to do, you aren’t as interested in anymore, but you really don’t care that you aren’t as interested. You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV ‘ON’ than in bed. It’s called “pre-sleep”. You miss the days when everything worked with just an “ON” and “OFF” switch. You tend to use more 4 letter words … “what?”…”when?”… ??? You notice everything they sell in stores is “sleeveless”?!!! What used to be freckles are now liver spots. Everybody whispers. You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet…. 2 of which you will never wear. But “Old” is good in some things: Old Songs, Old movies, and best of all, OLD FRIENDS!!
Stay well, “OLD FRIEND!” Send this on to other “Old Friends!” and let them laugh in AGREEMENT!!! It’s Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived.
TODAY IS THE OLDEST YOU’VE EVER BEEN; YET THE YOUNGEST YOU’LL EVER BE, SO ENJOY THIS DAY WHILE IT LASTS.
“Do Not Regret Growing Older. It is a Privilege Denied to Many. ”