“There’s no such thing as aging gracefully. We age in fits and starts,” my older sister declared.
As the youngest of five siblings, I am now watching the older ones age first. I have watched as the once strong and loud ones diminish over time as bodies start giving way, disease start creeping in. Once so sure of themselves, always walking ahead of me, I now have had to slow down so that we can walk in step.
I have seen others go through the ravages of divorce and abusive marriages and now, in their 70s and 80s, have found solace in gardening, switching to vegetarianism, making soothing drinks from plants that were common a few generations ago and spontaneously bursting into childhood songs, holding hands as they sang. I could be wrong, but I wonder if that was the way they coped with pain — by keeping busy and escaping into the past.
Then I look at how I have coped. I had decided early on to look squarely at the past, to see where I have undergone Type A and Type B trauma and to seek ministry for these once I knew where to go.
And even as I have been healed, I ministered healing to others and found satisfaction in watching them grow into warmer, healthier, more loving and more successful human beings as the fears and wounds that stunted their personal growth were dealt with, one at a time.
So, what is my legacy I hope to leave behind, even as I am now entering the winter season of life?
When I leave planet Earth, I hope to leave behind a group of people who have had their souls and spirits healed to such an extent that they become a force for good to those whom God will send into their path.