In Community

In my world, “elders are relevant, engaged, and essential”. In my work as a chaplain at Bayview, I love being around folks who have lived and experienced so much! In my short time here, I have already heard many amazing stories. Being around older folks helps me to focus on the more important things in life, and to let go of unimportant stressors. I have found this quote to be true:

“The older I get, the less I care about what other people think of me. Therefore the older I get, the more I enjoy life”   Unknown

My maternal grandparents played a large role in my life. From the age of 70-86, and 96 respectively, my Grandma and Grandpa lived in a retirement community similar to Bayview. There I saw older folks living it up! From the ages of about 10-16, every year my best friend and I looked forward to spending our spring break at “the Manor” where we got to go swimming, play pool, eat meals in the dining room, and play lots of dominos!

I hope and pray that when I am older, and I am able to retire, I will make the most of my time to learn and do activities that I’ve always wanted to try.

I try to appreciate the joys of each stage of my life, and I try to not take things for granted; in order, that I may deal with losses with as much grace as I can- knowing that I lived as fully as I could.

A quote that has stayed with me- (though I couldn’t seem to locate it) was attributed to Maya Angelou, and I remember it as, “My advice about aging: by all means do it!”

Yes, growing older involves loss, new challenges, and change. Yes, growing old is not easy. But what choice do we humans have? Those who don’t get the opportunity to age, often talk about how much they would give to have more time on this earth.

I love it when people surprise me and challenge my perceptions of them. Our society unfairly puts, or tries to put, older folks in a box. I see those at Bayview busting out!  In the words of Diana Ross:

I’m coming out
I want the world to know
Got to let it show
I’m coming out
I want the world to know
I got to let it show (that elders are interesting, fun, and adventurous!)

The residents at Bayview have so much to share with the world.

No matter what age we are, we all want to be seen, known, accepted, and celebrated. We all need to connect, contribute, relate, and to matter. I encourage everyone to live fully, in the present moment. That is a goal for all of us.

Let’s all try to encourage each other to live fully, now, and AgeUp!

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