Today at the grocery store the cashier could tell I was very tired. I had just worked with my horses, I bathed them and walked the miniature horse (who has special needs) in the blasted Arizona heat. As I watched the elderly male cashier ring up my groceries, I sighed in exhaustion of the day. (Mind you, it is now the 2nd month of zero pain in 5 years!!) Tired yes, but very grateful. He finished ringing up my bill for the groceries and said “Man, it sucks getting old! We are both tired!”
My 1st response, in my head, was “I’m not THAT old! Lol!” And then, my verbal response was, “well, we should be grateful we have the chance to age and get old. Many people don’t get this chance and would give their limb to live another year.” He stopped, stared at me. I didn’t breathe. He tore the receipt from the register and handed it to me. Then he said “thank you for opening my eyes today. Yes, it’s a gift to get older. Thank you for reminding me.”
I said, “you’re welcome” and left the store. How odd that I hear this so often lately. And each time, I feel a ting of anger or disappointment. I have lived years, a decade in excruciating pain, flares and broken bones and burning eye sockets like acid on my eyes from the shingles caused by a weakened immune system from steroids and meds and I always felt that at least I have another day where I might and hopefully feel a bit of relief from pain.
Nobody really understands the extreme pain of needing to get up at night and walk to the bathroom with broken bones and going through a flare of chills and fevers and drenched wet hair from breaking fevers and joint pain so bad you can’t lift your arms.
Only the ones who live with the dragon 15 steps behind them at all times can appreciate the days of no pain, no teeth chattering, no rash, no major organ shutting down and not knowing if this flare will attack your heart and there will be no stopping the dragons last attempt to take you out.
So, when you hear anybody say how “awful it is to grow old”, just tell them there are millions of people who would have loved to have the chance to live another year and grow old and I am sure, so would their loved ones who miss them.
Be grateful. Stop whining. Please be appreciative of this beautiful time we have.
Stay healthy my friends.