Monday, January 23, 2017
"I apologize to all of you."
The genteel are always ready with that soft apology that oils the skids of the social harmony sled through life and I knew Jill was genteel from the moment I met her.
I also knew she was old.
What I did not know was that she was so close to 100 years old she could almost touch it with her stretched out arm!
100 coming right up!
Jill has moved here to our town to be close to her one and only son.
"The hardest decision I have ever had to make. I did know it would not be fair to my son and his wife if I decided to stay in the midwest when he lives out here in the west. I did not want to come.
I had to sell my beautiful home I've had for decades. And I had to leave my friends. Well, most of them have died, but my memories are there."
Her son, James, has driven her to our meeting place because she does not drive anymore.
She voluntarily gave up her license when she realized she was no longer a safe driver.
Bright. She is very very bright.
She passed around candy to our group, announcing she is turning 97 tomorrow.
We are appropriately stunned!
And she smiles.
We are not a bad group.
We accept candy from strangers as long as they are old.
But what came next staggered me, surprised us all.
Jill softly said, "I apologize to all of you for living to be this old."
We really are shocked.
Looking at our expressions she said, defending her stance,
"I see how young people look at me!! They can't understand why I am still here........... and neither can I.
"I used to do so much! I volunteered! Now.....nothing. I do nothing."
"Consider the lilies of the valley how they grow. They do not toil. Neither do they spin. Yet I tell you, Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."
Well, here in America, we don't care much for the "useless". We are the nation with the highest productivity in the world.
Toilers and spinners we are.
Arraying ourselves, we do.
Our work ethic is so strong here in America that if we have a bad job, we have a bad life!!!
We are not prepared for retirement.
We are not prepared for "being".
We are succored, trained and prepared for doing.
I guess bringing bits of candy to strangers is nothing. It seemed like something, but perhaps I am just easily impressed with candy.
I guess confessing ones heartfelt feelings of worthlessness means nothing. It seemed like something, but maybe I am living an impoverished life and a little thing seems like a biggee.
We nibble Jill's candy and try not to admit out loud how completely she hit the nail on the head.
May she live to be 100 plus!
May she learn the beauty of laying on a flat rock here in the desert and baking under the sun, doing nothing but becoming acquainted with lizzards and other little creatures of God.
May Jill and the rest of us learn to appreciate the beauty and value of just "being".
Thank you for sharing this moment with me,
Posted by Riverwatch