Recently some friends and I were talking about a subject that comes up with increasing frequency: aging. Botox, plastic surgery, and Lady Clariol notwithstanding, aging is inevitable and happens to the best of us.
As much as we deplored the slowing of our bodies, our conversation focused not so much on the outward signs of aging but, rather, upon the inward signs. One person commented, "He's just like he was thirty years ago, only more so." This can be a good thing, or a not-so-good thing, depending upon the person.
I've written before about my dear friend Dorothy. Dorothy, who passed away when she was 83, aged with grace, humor, and love. Those who knew her rejoiced in her company. She delighted in a good joke and laughed with abandon, slapping her knee as she did so. I never thought of her as old, though nearly thirty years separated us. I guess I never thought of her as old because she never acted old. She remained involved and interested in people and the world around her.
My husband's aunt, now in her mid 80s, serves in her church, makes quilts to give to Project Linus, and visits "old" people. She is always busy, giving of herself, of her time, of her energy. She doesn't think of herself as old and neither do those who know her.
Gordon B. Hinckley (1910 - 2008), President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1995 - 2008, fulfilled his many responsibilities with a smile and genuine concern for others. Though he was almost 98 when he passed away, he never seemed old. At his doctor's suggestion, he carried a cane, but he used it not for walking but for waving it at the many people who wanted to say hi to him. He proved that aging is more a matter of the spirit than of the years.
So, for today, I am grateful for those whose spirits are forever young.