Now that I am growing older I’m not as strong as I was five years ago. I look old, i.e. gray hair which is thinning on top, droopy muscles, poor vision even with glasses, with some hearing loss and some times forgetting where I put my car keys. My law partner hesitates to give me more complicated cases because he’s afraid I will forget to be thorough in studying the case as I did two or three years ago. As someone once said, “getting old isn’t for sissies.’’ There are times when I feel worthless because I am not contributing much to my profession, my family or society.
The above story is a compilation of stories I heard as a parish pastor. I have heard similar stories related to me here at Samaritas by residents in our rehabilitation unit and long term care units. Fortunately, our rehabilitation therapists and staff from other departments assist residents in gaining a renewed and healthy self-perception of themselves. For many residents a sense of purpose is realized to the extent that life does have meaning, family relationships grow stronger and the future is met with resolve and inner strength. I firmly believe that these people now grasp that they have a legacy to share with their children, grandchildren and friends. They have a God-given gift of love, joy and peace to celebrate with all people.
Written by Chaplain Richard A. Anderson