Getting older not all it’s cracked up to be

Published 9:25 am Thursday, November 2, 2017

By Sue Staton

Thus far, 2017 has proven to be a year that I will remember for some time.

This year has been one of surprises I have to admit, but not the kind of surprises one really looks forward to.

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I have always prided myself in the friendships I have made through the years and having been involved in a lot of community activities. As a result of this, I have made friends with a lot of people who feel like family to me.

Sadly, at my age, I have found myself now seeing a lot of friends and family who are leaving this world through death. Living next to Montgomery County, I know lots of people there and also some of the surrounding counties.

There is seldom a week that I am not at a funeral home or hear of someone who is near death.

It has made me think back to when my mother watched her entire family be buried. Though I tried to understand her grief, I have really just begun in the past year or two to grasp how hard it must have been on her to lose family and friends.

It seems once you reach my age, it gets harder and harder to watch as your friends pass and a life you once knew that included so many of them is now gone.

I have made friends who seem like family, and my heart hurts as I watch and hear about struggles in their lives.

This past week has been one of those kind of weeks for me. It has included the death of two friends, another who was sent to Hospice care and yet another whose daughter had a brain bleed, and this week also included my sister having her third heart ablation.

Every one of these people is very dear to me.

Life is so fragile, I have found, and it is so important for us to be nice to all we meet.

We definitely do not know what others are going through or if we will see them again.

No one’s life is ideal since we all have burdens to bear. We all need uplifted from time to time. Sometimes, a smile may be needed so badly by those having a bad day, and it is so easy to give.

While I still know that family and friendships are so important and without them the hard times would not go as smoothly, I am hoping some of this sickness and death will slow down for my family and friends.

I am finding that I do not have the time or energy to keep up with it all. I feel guilty when I can’t go as I would like to do.

Often I have found I have two or three other obligations, all at the same time.

Someone once said they would be glad when they got older so they would have enough time to do it all. I am here to tell you, that is a dream to hang on to.

For one thing, that time may never happen. When you do have some time, you may end up sick and not feel like doing anything, or you will be a whole lot slower and it may take all day to do something you could fly through at one time.

The very night you think you have free you may be asked to babysit the grandkids, or at least 100 other reasons can pop up, just take my word for it.

It just does not happen the way you plan it.

Another thing I have found is I value my free time more than I ever have before. Instead of going somewhere, I just want to be home. While I value family and friends, there really is no place like home, either.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native who grew up in the Kiddville area. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.