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A young person still resides here
A recent interview made me realize we never really grow up in our minds. I was interviewing a couple that had been married for close to 60 years. They talked about dancing in the bedroom while blasting a boom box, taking spontaneous trips and how they were still thankful and in awe of the beautiful home and life they had built together. The husband said he didn’t feel old in his mind, “but I look in the mirror and there’s an old man staring back at me.”
Realizing that I too felt this way, I decided to ask a few others how old they felt, not physically, but mentally; not one person I asked told me they felt their age.
It is a cruel reality of life I think, that our bodies age so much faster than our minds. I’m sure I am wiser, at least somewhat. I know I wake with more aches and pains and I am far more forgetful, but in my mind I still feel like I am 25ish.
I remember being a kid and thinking that adults had it all figured out, until I became one. Now, as an adult I realize that life is still very much a mystery to me and almost every other adult I have encountered. I think about this fact as I have so many times in the past, but now as I get older it suddenly concerns me.
I see how society as a whole treats the elderly; they are so often tossed aside and forgotten, treated like a burden. I also recognize that with each passing day I too grow closer to the inevitable old age.
Can you imagine feeling just as you do today in your mind, but being told you must reside in a nursing facility, have your driving privileges revoked or worse yet, to sit helplessly while your aging body deteriorates? This reality both saddens and scares me.
We should all be so lucky to find that lasting partner to pick up the slack when we are tired, to blast the boombox and to love us even when we get pot bellies, wrinkles and gray hair, but the fact is not all of us do.
Please remember the next time you’re standing behind that elderly person at the checkout counter, just because their body has aged and worn doesn’t mean there isn’t still a young person residing inside.
Misty DeJournett is a staff writer at the Daily American Republic. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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