Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, January 20, 2011

First you forget names, then you forget faces.
Next you forget to pull your zipper up and finally,
you forget to pull it down.

Nathan Birnbaum; born on this date, 1896, in NYC
[ Who?? George Burns, of course! ]

I’m like that ….. and I’m only 64.6!! For years, I could remember the name of every parishioner at the Communion rail. Now, I forget those I know the best. Faces? Well, I’m pretty good at that still ….. but what good is it if you can’t say Hi! by name? As to zippers, I rarely if ever forget to pull it up. But, with the results of radiation and seed implants for prostate cancer, I often “forget” to pull it down fast enough. Sheesh! I figure if a policewoman ever asks me why I’m skulking in a corner with my pee bottle, I’ll just shame her and gently lecture her on the necessities of older men with prostate cancer treatments!

My mother used to go on with some frustration and anxiety about the forgetful issues of aging. As did many of my parishioners. In particular, my mother would fret about being up half the night. When I would visit, I would say, “Mum! You don’t have any schedules to meet. Just relax! If you are up, do something interesting. Sleep late in the day if you want. You’ve earned it!” I’ve taken my own advice to heart. I get most of my reading done after pee-alerts in the middle of the night!

Young or older, my advice is: Give yourself a break. God, what pressures we put on ourselves! To no good end, as far as I can discern. Some young people would call this old age rationalization. I call it Old Age Wisdom – and I think that young people could vastly benefit by it and enjy their lives more if they could learn it early on.

I hope you feel liberated! You’re allowed to ….. I say so!


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