The rose bush in spring brings forth its buds with bloom to follow. Then the fading of color, and intoxicating fragrance that distinguishes a rose from any other plant in the garden, as one by one the petals fall to the ground.
Gathering up the aged beauty we try to press them into books and potpourri pots in an attempt to keep the memory alive.
But the wind, she gathers each one lifting, twirling, whisking them away, and the season ends.
We are like those roses, Doc and I. The roses in bloom are beginning to fade as we journey further into middle age. But it is at this point that we are finding a richness of each other, of life, and of freedom in letting go of the expectations of others and living fully as we have been created.
We plan all of our lives for death and dying with a will and health insurance, exercise and healthy eating, but the aging process its self is not discussed much in social circles.
I love where we are in life. Sometimes we will hear a phrase and we will give each other a knowing look remembering a joke that fits the comment. Our little inside joke that would probably not seem so funny to anyone else if we tried to explain it to him or her.
Raising each other’s children, trying to respect the other one’s ex-spouse, battling out philosophies of child rearing, finances, and at what height should the lawn mower be set to cut the grass, has kept us working at the goal of becoming one.
And we are becoming one as the aging process continues to work on our bodies. Together we have one good set of eyes, one good set of ears, one good back, and his right hip is good, my left hip is still good and we both still have good knees.
Rose petals on the ground.
We create memories with the children and grands, taking pictures of each event, pressing them into memory books, encasing them into picture frames scattered all over the house.
And one day the breath of God will return for that which was only on loan for a time, never to be seen on this terrestrial plain.
But as much as we love this place, we know that we are only visiting. Doc and I laugh as we remember our Girl Scout, and Boy Scout lessons of leaving a place better than we found it. So we plant rose bushes, feed fish, and impart to the generation yet to come the seeds of life.
I wonder if that this is why Jesus asked if the cup could pass. Not only that he would not need to face a horrible death, but also perhaps He truly loved walking with us, and though it was for our good and His glory, perhaps, just maybe, he too was going to miss being here walking with the ones he loves so dearly.
But let’s lighten this up a bit. Here are some quotes about aging that I have enjoyed.
“after 30, the body has a mind of its own” ~ Bette Midler
“Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone.” ~Jim Fiebig
“Age is an issue of mind over matter, and if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter.” ~Mark Twain
“Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life. ” ~Kitty O’Neill Collins
“An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her”. ~ Agatha Christie
“None are so old as those who have out lived enthusiasum” ~Henry David Thoreau
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