Childhood and Aging
I had lunch today with a very good friend of mine. She and I met a few years ago when I started reading to her. She is legally blind. After I went to school, my mom started reading to her, but, like our relationship, not much reading gets done. We just like to talk, you see. She is in her eighties and negotiations with her children have been open for a while regarding her living situation. Today, I found out that she is being moved to a more supervised environment, out of her control. I could tell, as she told me, that she was trying to be brave. It was obvious that she was trying to hold onto the self-possession that she thought should give her the ability to stay in her own home. Her optimism challenges me.
Right now, I am grappling with growing up. I'm learning that you grow accustomed (slowly) to having to make your own decisions, to listening to God for your own life, to taking the blame when things don't go right. As a child, you don't do those things, and, it seems, as you age, you gradually lose those rights as well. In the center there, for a few moments, you have that kind of independence.
In the eyes of my dear friend today, I saw resignation, fear and hopelessness. However, I realize that she has experienced something that many people do not - she has had the opportunity to be independent - I know that there are many people who never got there.
So, for now, I'm going to continue into that middle section of life, and, when I have kids (God willing), I'm going to make sure that I focus on the golden rule.