Over holiday lunch with co-workers, the conversation turned to those personal summers that sometimes afflict women of a certain age. My hormone levels haven’t gone South yet. Nevertheless, the conversation was instructive.
What does one do about hot flashes?
- Hormone replacement? “Absolutely not” was the consensus. Once routinely recommended, this therapy was shunned as a one-way ticket to cancer.
- Black cohosh? Popular natural remedy, but doesn’t work for everyone.
“I don’t ‘do’ anything,” said the blonde seated across from me. “I’m just going to be old. That’s life.”
Getting old is part of life? You wouldn’t know it from watching TV or thumbing through women’s magazines. Americans spend a fortune on age-defying, wrinkle-reducing, de-aging creams and potions of every description.
Despite the marketing myth of eternal youth my co-worker somehow has managed to embrace this truth: “I have been young, and now am old.” Accepting the fact of aging hasn’t meant opting out of life and waiting to die. She takes college classes, vacations abroad.
Growing old comfortably apparently requires a good attitude, the right medicine and a little money. Growing old without fear requires great faith in a God who promises to remain faithful through the march of time.
“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you.” Isaiah 46:4
The poet Robert Browning extends an invitation I’ve come to appreciate:
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith ‘A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!’