Monday, September 12, 2016

Reevaluating the State of Affairs by Ruth Smith Meyer

Ever since January when my second husband skipped off to heaven, there’s been a sneaky specter hanging about.  It doesn’t actually let me have a good look at it, but it keeps gleefully whispering, “You’re getting old!”

My body gets in on the taunting disparagement. My blood sugars become unpredictable. My hip gets bursitis, making me begin to waddle like an old___  --No, no, it’s just my hip! It can’t be because I’m old! My doctor, as though I’m going to need it for the rest of my life, sets up an appointment with a specialist to make sure the walker that I’m using is right for me, and when asked about a dark spot that has appeared on my hand blithely tells me, “Oh you’re just getting rusty from old age!”
What?  Me old?
“Yeah?  You’re next!”  is the murmur from that ghostly shadow. “After all, how many years can you have left?”
Then in August, my second last baby turns 50!  The nerve!  That’s just about five years younger than I feel on the inside, but facts are facts.  I must have been older than five when she was born.  I write a poem, to the tune of Mocking Bird Hill, for the party she throws to celebrate. The first few verses went thus:
Meri Mary Beth at Fifty

In the year sixty-six to the Smiths, Ruth and Norm
A bright–eyed Mary Elizabeth was born
Bringing warm happiness and excitement galore
For she started to climb, walk, and run and much more.

And at only eight months and a half, it is true,
She fractured her skull—causing quite a to-do.
On the wee children’s ward, the nurses in shock,
When this little kid proved that she really could walk.

“Put the child on the floor, with the pen upside down,
To keep her contained,” said a nurse with a frown.
Just perhaps ‘twas advice her parents should heed,
For she kept on a climbin’ no matter our pleas.
                                                          and I laugh along with the rest.

That evening is however, the impetus for some reflection during the quiet moments of night.  At first I want to fight back.  On further contemplation I decide to face that specter, make friends with it and walk along in companionship.  Yes, I am getting older, but that doesn’t mean I have to succumb in docile or compliant surrender and sit back waiting to die!  If I can’t skip along the way, I  can walk briskly—give that menace apparition a run for his/her money!

I ask the doctor for referral to a physiotherapist and begin a twice daily exercise regimen. My hip drastically improves.  I renew my commitment to my quiet time that has been disrupted by the changes in my life and I realize that God loves me and has plans for me right where I am in life.  I begin to dream of other things to write about. I work on incorporating a regular painting day to nurture another part of my creativity.  I make plans to pay regular visits to my wonderful, enlarged family who also foster my inner spirit.  I even toy with the idea of using duolingo to learn a new language. I’ll  first renew my acquaintance with German then try to enlarge my knowledge of French—something I always thought I’d do sometime in my life. I’ll do as my grandfather said—wear out instead of rust out—in spite of dark areas on my hands!

 Eventually, when the good Lord is ready for me, I too, will sprint off to heaven, but meantime I’ll stay busy with the delights that he provides here on earth.

Ruth Smith Meyer thinks you may as well laugh as cry! And that's what she's doing as she tries to keep up with the changes life brings her.   She's also still involved in her speaking ministry and giving opportunity for people to read her books--the latest being her life story--Out of the Ordinary.
Come visit her at


Peter Black said...

Ruth, thanks for your candid and delightfully engaging post. Your rich experience of life and longstanding trust in the Lord deepens your work - even when you write in a lighter mode! You're quite the poetic bard - and those drawings, is that your art, too?) ~~+~~

Ruth Smith Meyer said...

Yes Peter--it's my attempt at drawing. Thanks for your comment! You are so faithful in that.

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