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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Twilight Years of Life (07/02/09)

TITLE: Aging Gracefully
By Mildred Sheldon


Before I talk about aging gracefully myself, I must regress a bit and talk about Mama. The way she lived her life taught me the secret of aging gracefully. I am nearing the BIG 70 and will turn that age next year. Mama was the epitome of aging gracefully and this is her story. She went home to the Lord in 1991 and I miss her even now because she was the bedrock of our family. I watched how Mama responded to growing older. She was a strong gentle woman and her twilight years were amazing.

Mama was an extraordinary women and I admired her fortitude and tenacity to live life to the fullest. Nothing seemed to deter her from tackling any job that came her way. She was afflicted with arthritis from a very young age and although her hands and fingers were stiff from good ole Arthur, as she called it, she never gave into the stiffness, aches and pains of it. She would take the broom, force it into her stiff hands and fingers, sweep the kitchen, and then get down on her hands and knees to scrub and wax the linoleum.

Mama was a force to be reckoned with and when she disciplined us for disobedience you learned early on not to upset her. Mama was the disciplinarian in the family. Dad very rarely spanked us. She always had a lovely switch from the Forsythia bush on top of the refrigerator and all she had to do was take it down. When we saw that switch, we stopped whatever we were doing and became perfect quiet little angels, for a while at least.

Although we tried Mama’s patience often, she was the rock that our family rested upon. I remember Mama going around the house singing her favorite hymn doing the housework. She had a beautiful clear voice of an angel and when she sang Rock of Ages, you could hear the love of the Lord in her voice.

Her house was always spotless. She suffered a heart attack in her mid sixties but even that did not stop her indomitable spirit. The doctor told her not to paint ceilings or scrub and wax her big country kitchen but Mama well she was Mama. He told her not to climb the stairs to her bedroom after the heart attack but she was determined to sleep in her bed. She sat down on the third step and went up one-step at a time until she reached the landing and would gingerly step into her bedroom. She was amazing. Mama always had a smile and welcomed all who came for a visit.

Mama reminded me of Paul by the way she lived her life. Mama was content with her life. She made due with what she had and if someone needed help, she always managed to help. She trusted the Lord and when you talked to her on the phone, you could hear the smile in her voice. She was a ray of sunshine to her family and friends and always lifted you up when your spirit was down in your shoes and bought a smile to your face.

Mama had aging gracefully down pat. By looking at her, you would never guess she was as old as she was. She used to say if she didn’t have a wrinkled old chicken neck people would not know that she was as old as she was. Her unstoppable love of life and the Lord has taught me how one can grow old gracefully. I remember her telling me, “Old age is not for wimps you must be strong and trust in the Lord. No matter what life throws at you spit it back in its face and just get up and do it. God will see you through. Remember that young-un.”

I hope and pray that the twilight years of my life are as beautiful as Mama’ was. I would love to tell the younger generation as they age that all they need do is spread your wings like an eagle rest in the loving arms of the Lord and be content regardless of what life throws at you. The Lord will see you through it.

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Lovely tale
Virgil Youngblood 07/11/09
A beautiful memory. Thanks for sharing.
Allen Stark07/12/09
A nice personal narrative. Your mother sounds like she was a lovely woman in many ways.
Dee Yoder 07/12/09
Yes, I like to have her kind of true grit, too, as the years roll by! A lovely and loving tribute to your mom.
Norma-Anne Hough07/13/09
What a beautiful tribute to your mum. Well done, I loved reading this:)
diana kay07/15/09
thank you you digression filled the whole peice but liked it
Katherine Walker11/14/09
I had an Aunt named Mildred, whom I loved dearly.

I enjoyed your article on your Mama very much. I just lost my Mom on August 8th of this year. I miss her, as well.

Great job on the article. Keep up the good writing, and God bless.