1 Mar 2013

March 1st

A new report shows that we're living longer better. But what does better mean?

At the age of 71, I've outlived two of my children—a daughter to leukemia and my son in a drug-crime related car crash. Both children are cherished and deeply mourned. 

I love to write—novels particularly, three of which have been published to date (see the bottom of the page), four more ready to go, and three more written. That takes care of my mind, but what of my body?


I've always eaten a healthy diet, maintained daily exercise and kept a positive attitude. However, I've noticed a decline in the last couple of years. More than ten years ago, an accident during a hip replacement caused a shattered femur resulting in a shaft from the joint to the knee screwed in place to the bone. After my recovery, I continued to work on my feet for 8 hours a day until I retired with osteoporosis at 64. Lately, I notice the struggle, using my walker for support, uphill and back. I'm getting old.

I don't mind. Aging is a natural process as is death. I don't attempt to halt the decline, but notice the fine hair on my jaw, the wrinkle above my top lip and the stoop to my back. Then there's the pain in my bones and joints, which is more severe with the passing years. I tie my silver hair up high on my head. I'd like to think I look distinguished. I can't afford to have a professional photo taken, so, rather than show my image as it is now, I use one taken 15 years ago. Out of doors, nobody gives me a second look, whereas the reverse occurred in my youth. 

Although I speculate about the future, I thank God daily for the marvel and beauty of nature and for the games I play—after all, writing is just a pastime. I wonder what will happen when my husband is no longer around to take care of me. The fact is, most people who live into their 90s die after an extended period of disability. Do I want this?

In America, everyone wants to look like 30 when they're 60 years old. Because they're better than ever at age 67, they think the same will be the case at 87 or 97. They exercise and eat with that future in mind. Do they want to live longer if that means an extended period of age-related illness?

What does the future hold? I guess we all want a long and healthy life and a peaceful death. In the meantime, I'll go on writing.


  1. What a beautiful attitude to have. My dad is 89 and struggles w/ his disabilities. He wants to be 25 again, and really believes medicine and therapy will get him there. You have made terms w/ aging and I think that's beautiful. God is not surprised that we decline. We need to learn to accept it w/ grace like you have done.

    1. I think dignity is the key to acceptance. I always admire people who accept their role.

  2. Keep writing, Francene, and I'll keep reading. I truly want a choice in my aging/ultimate death. I think if you are active with your mind and not too many aches and pains, then great. My Dad is 81 and going strong. But, I don't want to be bedridden and a burden. That sums it up for me at age 54. Who knows what the future holds?

    1. Nobody would want to bedridden. Could we accept that as easily as we could another cup of tea? We'll never know until we're tested.

  3. Francene, I love your writing from the heart and the way you confront this last phase of life -- a reality we all hope to face with courage and dignity. May the years ahead be good to you (and your husband) with many more books to come! Sometimes I think there's a kind of coming together, a community of friends and family that nurtures us through all our days. Perhaps these are the angels others write about.

    1. I do see angels in those I contact. Thank you for your good wishes. May your days be blessed too.


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