I like old people like myself. I mean, not necessarily gloating on myself, here, and not divulging that I'm elderly yet, but there is so much richness and depth to those who have lived a little. In caring for my 84-year-old mother as she struggles with declining physical health, I can't help appreciating her sense of humor, which pops up at odd times when she's really struggling.
Take her smiles at all the ER personnel the other night when we had her in for BP and sugar problems, her "Thank you" for each new tech or nurse, her obvious flirting with the cute doctor (Mel wasn't on duty that night, but a buddy of his was). She thanked each one who came in, each time they came in. Actually, so did I. By the time we left, the whole staff crowded around us and made us feel as if we'd been part of the team. They don't get that kind of treatment a lot, just so you know. They appreciate it when they can get it, instead of anger and yelling and blame thrown at them for things that are not their fault.
My mother, who deals with depression over her situation, is seldom too depressed to lift others up and encourage. She is a member of the Greatest Generation, who worked at Hughes Aircraft during the war, and when she found out she was pregnant with me--who, sadly, turned out to be her only child--she decided she was going to leave a better legacy for her baby. She found Christ, joined a church, and raised me there, though she, herself, had not been raised in church.
Wow. How blessed I have been all these years by people of the Greatest Generation who gave their lives for our country--my uncles who fought in the war, who suffered from injuries both emotional and physical for the rest of their lives, who continues to live the end of their lives with grace, dignity, and compassion. How I pray to have some of that greatness rub off on me.
I have a friend who reflects this very same kind of grace to others. Her name, as you may have guessed by now, is Diann Hunt. She smiles in the midst of tears and trials, and lifts the rest of us poor saps up--those of us who haven't traveled her path...yet. Her grace also reflects that of my other friends: Colleen, Denise and Kris.
If for no other reason, I'm glad to be living in these years of "middle age." Maybe someday people will look at us and, though they may not say we were part of the Greatest Generation, they may very well bless us for grace shown to others. May that be said of me some day.
Pray for our beloved Diann as she, hopefully, goes home today. Pray for her hourly as she deals with the effects of chemo. And thank God for her, because she touches hearts and lifts spirits wherever she goes.