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Learning to grow old gracefully

May 19, 2013

Dear Sir,

As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to myself and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with ageing. Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4am, or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the ‘60s and 70s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love . I will.

I will walk to the beach in a swimsuit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

They, too, will get old. I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things. Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect. I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning grey or disappear and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.

So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore. Yes, I have even earned the right to be wrong. So, to answer your question, I like being old, it has set me free. I very much like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here I will not waste time lamenting what could have been or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day, (if I feel like it!)

RAYMOND JC RAY

St. George’s

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Published May 22, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 21, 2013 at 4:34 pm)

Learning to grow old gracefully

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