Monday, April 20, 2015

I Think I've Become Elderly

      I've lived in the same small city since 1969...46 years. The population was 24000 when I moved here. Over the 46 years the population grew to around 100 000.

     I lived here long enough to have met many people. I've participated in the community and have come to know many people. I taught about 3000 students from 1968 to 1987.

    As a result, I look at the obituaries on a daily basis.  It is not uncommon to find that some  have passed away. Just recently a former student passed away. He used a power wheelchair in his last years.was passed . His family passed his wheelchair on to a 76 year old friend who had a serious spinal cord injury.

    Now recently in staring at the photos of the deceased, I've started to notice that the ones who are my age are starting to look very elderly! Many of them have been in nursing homes. Some of them have had the dread dementia. This started me thinking about myself and my age.

    Now in my head I see myself as fairly active. I think young. I still think I'm young.  So I decided I better take a look and see if I'm in this elderly group. So off to the mirror. Sure enough. There's an elderly man staring back at me! Who can this be? Well, I had to admit that it's me. I am truly in the elderly group.

    Now I'm very aware of my age and the process of becoming elderly. Somehow , we can put this in the back of our mind. We seem to think that we are always much younger than we are. However, the obituary photos have reminded me of reality.

    How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as your actual age or younger?