It is a table full of photographs of a life long lived. It is the challenge to make it through the day with gratitude for all that has passed and acceptance for that which lies ahead. It is holding on tight to an identity well deserved yet easily lost. It is times spent alone and times too often forgotten.
It is the desire to do and the need to do it differently. It is pleasure derived from the little things and the little things that make all the difference. It is muffled sounds and sights no longer seen. It is finding the balance between an appreciation for the new and a respect for the past. It is denial when necessary and laughter when it fits. It is the teaching of a life lesson and the hope that it is heard. It is taking time to say I’m sorry and making sure there are no regrets.
It is the surprise of a new friendship and the comfort of company with a shared history. It is being a role model without intent. It is an abundance of time and an hour glass that is creeping to empty. It is a language unknown and a wish for the familiar. It is recognizing a new order while remembering the rites and rituals of the past. It is embracing the privileges and respect shown age and knowing when it is due.
It is a determination to ignore the pain and the reality of new limitations. It is a purpose that changes with time but is never far from the surface. It is living in the moment whatever that moment brings. It is a dance with time and giving up the need to lead. It is taking pride in those accomplishments that mean no less now than when they occurred.
It is accepting help with grace and not forgetting to offer it when needed. It is coping with losses and the pain that follows. It is remembering a number does not define age but rather an attitude. It is the discovery of new information and the need to hold on to old truths.
It is enjoying a moment of relaxing without guilt, shame or embarrassment. It is a movement no matter how small or how fast. It is listening to an internal clock and being your own time keeper. It is knowing when to be assertive and when to defer. It is looking at problems as challenges and challenges as opportunities.
It is a spirit that continues to throb, dreams that change with time and a thirst for love that is never quenched.
For information on resources and services for older adults, their families and caregivers, call Jewish Community Services at 410-466-9200 or visit www.jcsbaltimore.org.