By Vernon M. Herron
Persons over 65 are called many things; senior citizens, old folks, the elderly, the “has been,” now the month of May has been designated “Older Americans Month.” Recently, my beloved niece, Gaynelle Harris Grier sent to me a humorous song entitled, “I’M A SENIOR,” to the tune of “JESUS LOVES ME.”
I’m a senior, this I know; for my body tells me so-
Aches and pain to me belong, head to toe they hurt so long.
Yes, Advil helps me. Yes, Gas-X helps me.
Yes, Ben-Gay helps me; my doctor tells me so.
I’m a senior that’s my stride, on a tour bus I will ride
motel, hotels let us in, I am ready- you say when
Yes, aspirin helps me. Yes, Centrum helps me.
Yes , B-C helps me; my doctor tells me so.
I’m a senior with gray hair, wrinkles, age spots everywhere
In retirement I will spend, time with grandkids with a grin.
Yes, Clairol helps me, yes, face cream helps me.
Yes, Ensure helps me; my doctor tells me so.
I’m a senior aches will stay, bladder weakens everyday
I just thank God that I am here. When I pray, here’s what
Thank you for Vioxx. Thank you for Depends. Thank you
for my heavenly home. I’ll be there, You know when.
Thinking that jabbing me with whatever wounded feelings there may be, Gaynelle also sent a puzzle, “I NEED TO TELL YOU A SECRET.”
1) I need to tell you a secret (look at #5)
2) The answer is ( look at 11)
3) Don’t get mad (look at # 15)
4) Calm down, don’t be mad (look at 13)
5) First (look at # 2)
6) Don’t be mad (look at 12)
7) I just wanted to say Hi…and I love you.
8) What I wanted to tell you is…(The answer is on #14)
9) Be patient (look at #4)
10)This is the last time I’m going to do this (look at #7)
11) I’m not mad when I’m saying this (look at #6)
12) Sorry (look at 8)
13) Don’t be getting all hype (look at #10)
14) I don’t know how to say this (look at #3)
15)You must really be ticked off (look at #9)
Thank you Gaynelle, I love you too.
It is interesting to note how time never stops; it is an aging process for us all.
In the following picture, we see the march of time. In 1956, Gaynelle was a third grader in elementary school. Today she is a wife, mother, grandmother, and a great grandmother.
Gaynelle as a third grader
With the aid of an unknown writer, now let me see if I can put the “Older Americans Month” into a proper perspective. Age is not a time of life; it is a state of mind. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years; people grow old only by deserting their ideals.
Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair—these are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust.
Whether seventy or sixteen, there is in every being’s heart the love of wonder, the sweet amazement at the stars and starlike things and thoughts, the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing childlike appetite for what’s next, and the joy and the game of life.
You are as young as your faith, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair. In the central place of your heart, there is a wireless station; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage, grandeur and power from the earth, from men and from the Infinite, so long you are young.
When the wires are all down and the central place of your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then are you grown old indeed and may God have mercy on your soul.