14 September, 2010

The joy of getting old

I'm sitting in McDonald's having a late lunch, and I had to blog about some of the events of this day. Well... the past 2 weeks have to be included. It all started 2 weeks ago yesterday, when I was taking clothes out of the washing machine and tossing them into the dryer. I turned a little too hastily and my trick knee gave out on me. In trying to catch myself, I tweaked my back a little. Three days later I woke up with a back that was out so bad that I could hardly walk and straightening up was just murder. I've struggled with that back injury for the past 2 weeks, eating pain pills like candy just to get through each day.  Today, I woke up relatively pain free, and looking out at the grass that was about 9 inches high, I figured I'd better jump on it before the rains came. 
Big mistake.

After cutting the grass, I knew I'd made a mistake. My back was tightening up again and I was having spasms up the right side. But after 2 weeks of this, I decided to push through and get a few things done. I took some Aleve and pushed on. A little while later, my son came into my office and told me that the dogs had run off. He was babysitting for a woman in our church and could not chase after them. I went out to look for the dogs, and one of them came running right back. The other, Rowdy, decided to make the most of his escape. My back hurting, I decided that I'd jump in the van and drive to search for him. Some 20 minutes later, he turned up, in someone's dog pen, cornered by six very large dogs. After a rather "exciting" encounter with the woman who had put Rowdy in the pen with her dogs, I bent over to get him... and it happened. Something "popped" in my back, and it was all I could do to carry him back to the van... hobbling and in pain. 

A little bit later, I gathered my computer, and a package I had to mail. When I got to the post office, I heard a woman say to her young son, "can you hold the door for that elderly man?"  The hair stood up on the back of my neck! Elderly man! How dare you? Meanwhile... I'm hobbling, more or less shuffling, as it hurt to lift my right leg. All the while, still insulted that this woman dared call me an elderly man.  
So, I mailed my package, made my way back out to the van, and decided to run into McDonald's and grab a bite and work on some pictures I had taken this weekend. When I got to the counter, a young man I know was working and he said, "Hey, how ya doing Poppa D?" I said I was doing fine, but the young man said, "you're kind of struggling, aren't you? Getting old... better slow down."  Again, the hair on my neck stood up! Then he offered to bring my food to me when it came out. I accepted, and went to find myself a table. A couple of minutes later, another young man brought my food out and said, "we gave you a pie; senior citizen discount."  I laughed, but inside I was thinking, "what is this, crack on Pastor D day?" 
And then it hit me...
The young mother at the post office was probably no older than 25. The young man behind the counter, 22 and the one who brought out my food was probably 18 at best.  I am surely older than any of their parents... possibly by 10-15 years. My hair is now salt and pepper, my joints a popping and cracking and I am kind of bent over and walking slow today.
I am getting old!
The problem is, inside, I'm still in my twenties. But the shell betrays what is on the inside.
I guess I have slowed down... but not much.
I guess the best way for me to view it is to be happy that I am still alive and kicking. 30 years ago, I'd have bet everything  on the fact that I would have been dead long before now. But thankfully, I found Jesus, and the old me died... giving me hope and a new shot at life. I'm thankful today that I GET to be old!


Libby said...

Well, I think you still look good! :)

jack69 said...

Good entry. Yep, that is about how it happens. You will get over it. You will forget it (maybe), but you will encounter it again. Age has a way of raising its ugly head.

But all in all it is great. Life is good, enjoy all those young folk.

NicoleSkysFamily said...

Really? I don't see you as Elderly at all....Old maybe ;) I am 22 after all and I consider my almost 30 friends as "old" so it could be a term of endearment...