As each day goes by I get older, I fear the day I wake up with wrinkles or a grey hair. I know aging is a natural passage; everyone grows old that’s the way the world works. When I awake each morning I check to make sure I am still young. Aging is so depressing; the fragile bones, frail wrinkly skin, the grayish white hair, the cold touch and sad eyes. I see old women and men in wheelchairs or walkers and I fear that one day it that maybe just maybe that’ll be me. I would not be able to live like that, I would rather die young than grow old. I couldn’t live with the thought of waking up one day and not being able to hear, see, smell or feel, I would feel dead. Oh dear lord please take my life before the day I see a gray hair or a wrinkle. There are the days I go out to lunch I see nurses spoon feeding the older women and men because they aren’t capable to do it themselves; it’s a disturbing sight I couldn’t go in public if I needed someone to spoon feed me, I see the looks people give them. Their eyes fill up with pity and sadness. I don’t want people to look at me like that. I feel bad for them, they can’t feed themselves, they don’t get go for walks by themselves heck half of them can’t even walk and the ones that can go turtle speed so to me it’s like they don’t even get the chance to enjoy their surroundings, it’s a sad thing. I remember seeing my grandma like that, she was in a wheelchair we would sit by the pond in the park; we would talk about life and the beauty of it all. I can recall me saying “Grandmother, how can you enjoy the beauty of life when you get older every day.” She had smiled and told me “Oh sweet child of mine, just because I am aging doesn’t mean I don’t see the world as a beautiful place.” She reached down and touched my cheek; I can still feel the warmth from her hand to this day. “Beauty is more than what is on the outside, what is on the inside counts too. You could have wrinkles and gray hair, you could be in a wheelchair or barely walking but if you can still manage a laugh or a smile, if you can enjoy the warmth of the wind blowing across your face or the feeling of water hitting your skin you would see how I see the world as beautiful place. When you grow old my love you will see what I am talking about.” With that it was time to go. I still don’t see what she was talking about; all I see are old people trying to find a reason to hold on, not to let go. Life will be so pointless the day I grow old. I would feel so useless. They have homes for the ones who have no one to take care of them. Some are so old and weak that they have to wear diapers because they can’t get themselves to the bathroom on time. To me there will be no point in living so again I will ask the Lord to take me away and rid me of this constant fear of growing old. I walked past one of those homes and I saw an old lady picking flowers with her granddaughter and it brought tears to my eyes. It took me back to the time my grandma and I were picking flowers for my mother. I sat there watching her, she looked so happy so content. There was a warm breeze that day; I remember watching her when it hit her face, she looked up at the sky and smiled. She closed her eyes and let the wind surround her; it brought tears to my eyes it was the most touching sight I had ever witnessed. That day she had told me not to fear getting old, wrinkles aren’t that bad; they make you who you are. If you have gray hair you can dye it. I told her I was scared of not being able to walk that I would be in a wheelchair. She smiled again but this time her eyes were filled with sadness. Baby girl not everyone ends up in a wheelchair. Come take a walk with me. She had led me down to the river behind our house. She told me to close my eyes and let the wind take you away. I did, it was beautiful I felt the beauty she was talking about, I felt the warmth of the world hitting me with one soft breeze. I took her hand and we sat there for hours and she told me of the wondrous stories of the world. I watched her throw her head back every time she told something that she found funny. Even though she had looked old her body never deceived her. Yes she was in a wheelchair but she had the power to laugh, to talk and to feel. I watched every movement she made. She was gentle and slow, a smile never leaving her face. I asked her if she was afraid to die. She said no, death is bound to happen and so is getting old so just let destiny run its course. You have experienced some of the world’s most beautiful joys. Those feelings will never change no matter how many wrinkles you have, it doesn’t matter if you have gray hair or frail bones what matters is your heart hasn’t changed. That was the last conversation we had ever shared and it is the closet one to the heart. There was a breeze today, I went and stood out on the balcony. I looked up to the sky and closed my eyes. I smiled as the breeze blew my hair from my face. Those feelings of happiness and warmth all came back. That is when I realized that there is beauty when you’re old, there is a reason to be alive. All those old women and men see and feel things that no one could ever understand until they experience them. The ones that have nurses have the feeling of love and joy. They see the true beauty in everyone and in everything. I no longer have the fear of getting a gray hair or having wrinkles. When I wake up in the morning I will go get a cup of tea and go sit on the balcony; I will enjoy the beauty of the wind, the beauty of aging.
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