Living in Wait:A Senior’s Destiny

Aug 25th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

One of the characteristics of aging is the feeling that we are living in wait.  We are always waiting.  We visit the doctor and wait.  We stand in line at the pharmacy and wait.  Even in express lines, we find ourselves waiting.  Little value is given to our time.  After all that is all we  are really presumed to have. 

Living in wait is a devaluing of the older person.  It is assuming that after all we have nothing else of value to do.  So we can just wait.  Living in wait suggests not only that we are devalued but are quite invisible.  We’re just not there. Look for us and we are wandering around looking on the shelves, wondering what any of those products really are for.  Call our names and we are out of the range of sound. It is as if we can’t be seen or heard!  We’re almost like the wish given about children who should be seen and not heard. 

It is, however, true that we will be missed when we are gone.  Fading away, as we are, we know that on some cold, dark, perhaps sleepless night, we may be remembered.  Our person may rise  up in its spirit and stir memories of “whatever happened to old what’s his name?”   Living in wait, we await our immortality, our resurrection through memory, our being first in line when recollections well up with “do you remember!” 

It isn’t so hard to live in wait.  It is just boring.  We like to still be a part of the circle, included in the conversation, permitted to contribute some little gem of wisdom.  We want to last and outlast some of the things that have been good and not so good while we waited.  The pearls of our lives are scattered everywhere.  We don’t remember where we left most of them.  But they are there, back there, someone may recall a few and spread them so that they are shared with others who never knew we were waiting.

Our children and grandchildren, our closest friends, our dearest colleagues, our oldest known acquaintances, many gone, some still clinging and waiting ,may find that we, like them, need each other all the way to the end of the line.  

Living in wait is the assignment we draw, the role we play, the place where we stand as we age.  It does not mean our lives have to be useless or unexciting or lacking in value.  It does mean that we just prefer to be noticed, to be pulled out of the line for a while and given a chance to do something else beside wait.



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