It seems to me as I grow older, that others all around are not changing. Of course that is not true as they are aging too but because we see them frequently, we do not notice their changes. Then, I will run into someone I haven’t seen in a while and I look at them and say to myself, “Boy, he sure looks old”. They, in turn, the minute I am out of earshot are saying the same thing. That’s after having both greeted each other with a,”You are looking good, how are you feeling?” or words to that effect. In turn, we always respond with “I’m feeling great, just great”, all the time trying to forget the various aches and pains and creaky bones and joints that old age brings on us. And lets not forget that all the while you are talking to them, you are scratching your head and racking your brains to remember their name.The way I see it, you can give the standard response when asked how you are or bore them to death with a litany of the most recent health issues. The problem with the latter approach is that you are opening up the door for them to load on you. Besides, most people will not hear you out as they impatiently want to share their various issues. Funny how that is.
Then I hear of a long time friend who is either sick from an incurable disease or has already succumbed to one. The people who die are all about the same age as ourselves which really gets me thinking, and if one poor unfortunate is younger by a few years, then the immediate thoughts are, “Well, I outlived him (or her)” almost with a feeling of triumph. It is to be expected that none of us age alone. It is not something that any of us has a monopoly on nor would we want to.
But even so, it still comes as a shock when we hear of a friend who is mortally ill and has only days to live. As we grow older, the people around us are doing the same which, of course is only logical as aging is not the personal property of any one of us. We cannot claim ownership or believe that we are the only ones with the divine right to grow old. What is worse, we have no choice in the matter. We cannot say, “Not today, I am not growing a day older today, maybe tomorrow”.
No, my friends, it is happening to us all and even though some of us may show it more (or less) than others, we are all aging at exactly the same speed. So, the next time that you bump into someone who you haven’t seen in a while, remember, you are both probably thinking the exact same thing, “Boy, he sure looks old”.