I wrote this in 2013. Aunt Marian passed away September 17, 2014, after a short illness. She made her life a benefit to everyone who knew her. She overcame evil with good in every part of her life. (Romans 12:21)
A Courageous Life
My Aunt has lived her life productfully, not wasting any of the days God has given her. I am not sure she even acknowledges that she has grown old. She is very hard of hearing. She has severe health problems which she medicates and ignores. She works hard and does things her own way and seldom asks for help.
I have a great deal of respect for my Aunt because she is so loving and giving. At 94 years old she still volunteers to help others. She enjoys going to church, Bible study, Eastern Star various other clubs and organizations. She volunteers at the food pantry and at funeral dinners. She makes pies anytime she sees the need and makes nine little girl’s dresses for her great-great nieces (and now great-great-great niece) every Easter and Christmas.
She enjoys mowing her own yard, canning her own fruit, growing vegetables in her own garden and driving her own car. She also likes to sit in her own chair and read books, embroider, crochet or do hand sewing. She enjoys managing a small cow herd and watching the calves in the spring.
Since she has so much trouble hearing, she has the radio turned up really loud in the morning so she can hear the news and obituaries. She seems to like to watch things on T.V. and go out to eat. I believe she genuinely likes to be around people, but it must wear her out because she usually falls asleep when she sits quietly.
If I were writing a play, the storm clouds would be gathering now. My Aunt falls asleep. The doctor says her diabetes may cause it or it might be caused when her blood oxygen levels get too low. The point is she doesn’t always know she has been asleep. Look back up to the things she enjoys, namely mowing her grass and driving her car. These are very dangerous.
Mowing the grass also irritates her COPD, but her specialist won’t tell her to quit because she is 94 years old and being active is good for her. Her vision is good so her eye doctor always okays her to drive. I’m not sure about his judgment in the matter since his own elderly father recently ran into the side of a building we own.
How do we respectfully curtail an elderly person’s activities without hurting their spirit? My Aunt has not had an easy life. While she would never complain about her life to anyone, nor would she actually brag, she does take pride in her accomplishments. She never complains about those around her although I have heard her be slightly critical about someone who didn’t keep their word.
She doesn’t deserve to be told that she has to depend on others to do things for her that she enjoys. She doesn’t deserve to have to learn how to ask for help at 94 years old. She doesn’t deserve to lose her independence in this way.
God has given her many productive days that she has used well, even courageously, but then, growing old is not for cowards.