Lighten Up: You Won’t Get Out Of This World Alive

By Beverly Gadson-Birch  

When I say so much is happening in the world today, that’s an understatement. It is easy to get caught up in the drama and not find beauty in nature or peace at the beach.

Although I have always been fascinated by the ocean, I am not a swimmer. I just love being around the water. I marvel at how the water rolls in and rolls out. Is it the same water recycled over the ages or does the rain replenish that which is lost?

It’s really a mystery to me. The ocean is so vast; how is it contained? Did God just dig a humongous hole and pour water in?

There is no beauty like nature’s beauty. It’s nothing like waking up to birds chirping or sun rays shining through the window.

While there is drama all around us, there is also beauty. One of my favorite songs is, “Sometimes You Have to Encourage Yourself”.

The same applies to finding beauty in things you pass everyday but never noticed or even laughing at things you didn’t think were funny.  You won’t get out of this world alive; so, sometimes you have to laugh at yourself.  I do a lot of that these days.

As I deal with my senior status and the reality of old age, I find humor in the things that I do and the things around me.

Today, I want to share one of my “Senior” poems with you.  I remember writing this poem for my cousin, Thelma, who was celebrating her eightieth birthday at the time and was caught up in the high tech evolution. She would say, “When I was born, life was so simple then”. I can remember laughing at some of the things my granny would say and do.

To a child, they seemed meaningless but as an adult they become more and more meaningful.  Now, that “I have lived long enough”, I understand what she meant. I blended Thelma’s life experience with thoughts from granny into “If You Live Long Enough”. I have lived long enough to know that it is all about experience and things do change!!

“If You Live Long Enough”

When I was born, there were …

No refrigerators or gas stoves

No fancy homes or designer clothes

No rollerblades or bicycles

No senior homes or short lifecycles

No running water or electric lights

No sunglasses or contacts to protect your sight.

No color televisions or tape recorders

No fast food restaurants or take out orders

No indoor bathrooms or vacuums

No big city factories or toxic fumes

No digital cameras or computers

No major trouble, criminals and looters.

No integrated lunch counters or private schools

No movie theatres or swimming pools

No woman working outside the home

No talking all day on the telephone

No children disobeying the Golden Rule

No misbehaving in public and acting like a fool.

Music was recorded on large vinyl albums

And belly aches were cured with herbs, not Tums.

You grew older, then came the pains.

You get up and drop back down again.

You look in the mirror and you look like sin

No matter how hard you try, old age is setting in.

You searched each room through and through

As if you had nothing on your schedule to do.

Checking the kitchen and your favorite chair

Looking for your glasses that must be somewhere.

Slowly, you walk up and down the hall

And catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror on the wall.

That can’t be my glasses sitting right on my nose;

And, why I didn’t see them, nobody knows.

Growing old is all they said it would be;

Back ache, swollen joints and limited mobility.

Your teeth were gone a long time ago;

But thank you Lordy, you bought some more.

Your knees gave out, you slipped and fell;

But thank you Lordly, you still can smell.

Your hair is gone, your sight and your strut

You remembered it all, you lived long enough.

1 Comment

  1. John A. El-Amin on August 11, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Great ! All so true! Thanks for the on point reminder.

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