A celebration of my life 09-02-2018 by Simmy Lager
I am so blessed to have reached the age of 89, to have what's left of my hair turning grey and to have my youthful laughs etched into deep grooves on my wrinkled face.
So many have never laughed, and so many have passed on before their hair could turn grey.
I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body!
I sometimes despair over my form, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt.
Often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror, who looks like my mother. However, I don't agonize over those things for long.
I would never trade my loving family and grand kids, my good friends and my wonderful life for less grey hair or a firmer belly.
As I've aged, I've become kinder and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend and spiritually reflect who I am.
I don't chide myself for eating that extra slice of cheesecake, or for not making my bed in time, or for beautifying that flowerpot with white cobblestones that I didn't need, but looks so Avant-garde on our front patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant within reason.
I have seen too many good friends leave this world too soon, before they understood the great freedom that comes with ageing.
A fulfilled life that requires nothing more than what I already have.
Whose business is it if I choose to read, write or play on my computer until 3 AM and sleep until late?
I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 70's & 80's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost soul, I will; it's easy.
I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a flabby body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the younger jet set.
They too, will get old.
I know I am sometimes very forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten and eventually I remember the important things.
Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a family member, or when a child suffers, or even when a car hits somebody’s pet?
But broken hearts are what give us strength, understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.
So, in answer to a question often asked! I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. Life presently has become more breath-taking than any event that I have imagined, it has illuminated my soul and enriched my being. Somewhere inside me I know it....
Good Shabbos –Simmy