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Do We Ever Age?

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Do we ever really age?  This is the question I ponder as I sit across from my ninety-eight year old grandma.  She talks about past loves, and she laughs over stories about her siblings.  She is light and vibrant in spirit in an aging body.  Her emotions are the same as mine and I’m forty-eight years younger than her.  I wonder, does she feel ninety-eight or is it only her body that has aged?  So I continue to walk through my life wondering how old will I feel at her age?  If you ask me this question today, I would say I’m twenty-two still.  Sure my body defies this opinion, but my soul has not changed with my body.

It becomes clear to me that I have not changed all that much since my twenties.  I notice it most when sitting across from my daughter and we share stories and laugh, or I take a walk with my son and we pit jokes against each other.  I notice it when my husband and I still chase each other around the house and laugh, doing all the same crazy things we did in our twenties.  But most of all, my younger self seems prominent when sitting in my childhood home with my parents and realizing I’ll always need and want my mom and dad.  That I still rely on them as I did in my twenties, asking for advice and just feeling the comfort of their undeniable all-encompassing love.

So when do we age?  Sure, I wake now and feel aches and pains I never had.  My knees creak when I bend down.  My back hurts when I work too long in the garden.  I feel winded when walking too far.  But are these truly signs of aging or just a sign of a body tired and needing repair?  My soul does not cry out fifty even if my body does.  This doesn’t mean I haven’t grown mentally since I was in my twenties, but growth doesn’t constitute aging or does it?  Is wisdom considered aging?  I somehow doubt that since I know some very wise twenty year olds and some unwise fifty year olds.

True, I’m not the exact person I was when I was younger.  I’ve grown and only time will tell how much more growth I’ll experience, but growth has not diminished my younger self that still flows through my soul.  I personally hope it never does.  To be ninety-eight and still full of my youthful self is the only way to deal with an aging body.  In this I hope to be just like my grandma at ninety-eight…full of life and vibrant!

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