As many of you know, I write poems based on my experiences advocating for seniors. Not too long ago, I had the honor of speaking with an amazing woman in her mid 90's who was heartbroken because her children no longer sought out her advice or valued her opinions. She was in tears, asking me why God did not take her home because there was nothing here for her. As I hung up the phone, my heart just broke for her. Unfortunately, her situation is not that uncommon. Later that evening, I sat down and wrote the poem: "I'm Not Done Yet!" I hope that individuals will read this and rethink how they treat the seniors in their lives.
"I'm Not Done Yet!
I may be 60, 70, 80, 90, or over 100, but I'm not done yet! My hair may be thin, gray, or have no hair at all, but I'm not done yet! My vision may be lacking or may even be gone, but I'm not done yet! My hearing may be fading, or I may not be able to hear you, but I'm not done yet! My bones may be brittle, I may walk with a limp or a cane, or maybe I am in a wheelchair, but I am not done yet! My mind may fade in and out, and I may forget things, but I'm not done yet!
I do have life experience and the wisdom to know that life lessons are learned by the scars we carry and the valleys we go through; that's where we learn our greatest lessons. I have learned that you can't master loving people without experiencing grief. The greater we love, the greater we experience grief when we lose those we love.
Although my body has aged and may not be as quick to process and react, I can still be a valuable resource for the next generation if given a chance. Those who take advantage of my experiences can learn from them and not make the same mistakes I did, giving more time to explore new opportunities.
I hope you get to experience the gift of aging and become a senior. Next time you meet a senior, instead of seeing what they have lost over time, think of all you can learn from them. Think of seniors in wheelchairs as wisdom sitting in a chair and taking advantage of all they have to share. If we work together, hand in hand, we can make this world a better place for all! Remember, I am not done yet!
Cheryl J. Wilson, M.S