Ruminations For The Old-Old

Salmon struggle upstream, spawn, and die.
Mission accomplished.
We deliver pristine helpless infants
And life goes on.
Raising them to maturity
Working to retirement and beyond
As the miles accumulate on the odometer.

Parts persist beyond their warranty and need to be repaired
Or replaced if they are available.
Many mechanics and garages have fought
To contain the inexorable force of entropy.
We have become the “old-old”.
And come face to face with the end of life.
If wise, we have wills, medical proxies.
If not, we should.

But the key issue is not how to die. That’s easy.
The work of a moment. Everyone does it.
But how to live. How to justify our continued existence?
Nurture our family and friends
Share our strengths and comfort with them
Make new friends, don’t withdraw
Do things we never had time for or never thought of before.
Relish our days, even without our old mustard.

And consider, whatever happens, the earth will continue its orbit
Stars will still be created and die in infinite space.
Be proud of our attempts to understand and
Humbled by our insignificant role in the universe.
Be serene and accepting.

By Tom L.
Resident of Cadbury Commons
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