“OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES”
By Liz David
A few months ago, my 11-year-old grandson Ben and I were in the kitchen. He was sitting at the table, patiently waiting for lunch. I was preparing to serve him the world’s greatest grilled cheese sandwich ever.
Out of the blue he looked up and said, “Nana, I hope you live a long time.”
“I hope so too,” I said, moved. I thought all he was interested in was his X-box, play station, texting, and winning at Monopoly.
At the time, I was 80. Now, I’m 81. I’ve already lived a long time. I don’t know what living a long time means to an 11-year-old. I didn’t probe or ask questions, but I’ve been thinking about this question off and on since then.
So what does living a long life mean to me? Is it the fullness of years or just another number to strive for? So I’m 81. Will I reach 82 and, if so, what difference will it make? What difference will I make? Is being here enough? Or am I just existing? Does my continued existence matter? Of course, my family and friends would say yes. And I say yes too!
But is my yes important? Will I live to see my oldest grandchild—and also my youngest grandchild who is 7—graduate 6th grade, 8th grade, high school, college. Will I see them have careers, get married, make me a great-grandmother? Unlikely. Very unlikely. Impossible. Do the math!
For me, it’s important to not only live well into a “ripe old age” but also to live a meaningful old age. Yet, a very wise person once said to me that all God wants us to do is to “be.” I ask myself, “How can I ‘be’ as I do?” A conundrum that gets me into, may I say the word, spiritual stuff.
Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be. Really?
So, how about a conversation?
Years ago, when we were in our 40’s, my husband and I bought a sundial with the saying “grow old along with me–the best is yet to be.” I’m not sure whether or not I believed it then, and I’m wondering whether I believe it now. Stay tuned!