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Friday, November 10, 2006

Past the Great Four-Oh!

I have let slip so many days before I decided now to pen a few words here because I couldn't find a proper opportunity to sit down with a clear intention to put my thoughts together like what I am doing now.

It is also 4 days since my birthday when I turned to a ghastly age of 42...

After crossing that great four-oh threshold, it is said that you can weather anything that comes your way. Or so they say... My back aches now and then, my flat feet cause some discomfort to my legs that it is a wonder I don't end up walking like Donald Duck, I keep forgetting things more often these days and the work keeps piling up with no regards to my handicap. :-P

So, how does it really feel to be 42, you may ask?

Well, I must say that my existence has been manageable and there are and have been moments where I have been 'up there' in all its glory and I have also plumbed my depths of misery that I can say I have seen enough not to take my life and life itself for granted. That I have come this far, is too much of a miracle for me to comprehend! That I continue to be God's agent, and a very broken and at times an utterly incompetent one at that, is simply out of this world...

There is a profound and yet simple story about being grateful with what one has, broken or not:

A 92-year -old, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably coifed and face shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready. As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet curtains that had been hung on his window. "I love it," he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy. "Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait." "That doesn't have anything to do with it," he replied. "Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged .... it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it . It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away. Just for this time in my life. Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories! . Thank you for your part in filling my memory bank. I am still depositing".

Am I happy? Well, I can't complaint! I am very much taken care of by the very community that I serve and, despite the usual ups and downs that one expects from this ministry, life has been mercifully kind to me. :-)

So, as the story continues, the message here is that to be happy, you
a. Free your heart from hatred
b. Free your mind from worries
c. Live simple
d. Give more
e. Expect less

I can live with those. Why do you think I have this luxurious dream of being able to retire early! ;-)

1 comment:

Pamela said...

Whoa! Fr. Aloy, this is so profound, so deep, it's worth taking time off to reflect upon.


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