Treasures Found While Growing Older

Jul 22nd, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Because I have been busy sorting all kinds of things accumulated over the past 50 or so years, I think it timely to share just one of those pieces that I unearthed in one of the box of files the other day.  

An unknown author wisely penned and some dear soul, a number of years ago, passed along the sage words I choose today.  They are not mine.  I wish they were.  I pay tribute to this anonymous person whose own sensitivity and keen awareness knows the real value of living and keeps what is worth keeping. The author called it “Some Things You Keep.”

“”Some things you keep.  Like good teeth.  Warm coats. Bald husbands.  They’re good for you, reliable and practical and so sublime that to throw them away would make the garbage man a thief. 

“So you hang on, because something old is sometimes better than something new, and what you know is often better than a stranger.

“These are my thoughts, they make me sound old, old and tame, and dull at a time when everybody else is risky and racy and flashing all that’s new and improved in their lives.

“New careers, new thighs, new lips, new cars.  The world is dizzy with trade-ins.  I could keep track, but I don’t think I want to.

“I grew up in the fifties with practical parents–a mother, God bless her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it, and still does. A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones. 

“They weren’t poor, my parents, they were just satisfied.  Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. 

“I can see them now, Dad in trousers and tee shirt, lawnmower in one’s hand, dishtowel in the other.  It was a time for fixing things–a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress.

“Things you keep.  It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy.  All that re-fixing, reheating, renewing, I wanted just  once to be wasteful.  Waste meant affluence.  Throwing things away meant there’d always be more.

“But then my father died, and on that clear autumn night, in the chill of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t ‘more.’ Sometimes what you care about most gets all used up and goes away, never to return. 

‘So while you have it, its best to love it and care for it and fix it when its broken and heal it when its sick.  That’s true for marriage and old cars and children with bad report cards and dogs with bad hips and aging parents.  You keep them because they’re worth it, because you’re worth it.

“Some things you keep.  Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate you grew up with, there’s just some things that make life important…people you know are special and you KEEP them close.”

I have no idea now who sent this  or how it is I came across it just now.  I am elated that reminders like this live on and become treasures worth keeping as we grow older, perhaps wiser and  hopefully something others will find important enough to keep.



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