Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

Getting Older

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Emilio, is Cuban gentleman, in his younger days a teacher, and a philosopher, at least he is to me. He has a way of dealing with life that I respect and admire. He is organized to a fault, but not overly rigid, listens to his doctors and benefits from his not needing to constantly fight authority, which has helped him a great deal now that he is old. He is easy to talk to, listens, and observes, with a very good sense of humor about life. He shows grace and patience, in how his life is slowly becoming more circumspect and adapts cheerfully, and yes he is a man of great faith. Just by watching him, I have leaned how to approach life with the desire not only to understand, but also to adapt as my own years quickly pass by.

People fear old age, yet it is just another process that needs to be passed though, like being a child, an adolescent, middle age and then, yes, what many fear; old age. Working with the elderly has taught me that while it is true it can be very difficult, yet many pass though with great grace and aplomb, with joy and fellowship thrown in.

He sits lost much of the time,
perhaps just trying to figure out things,
place,
time,
who we are,
are mysteries he never quite gets,
though he smiles when I greet him,
even laughs when I joke with him.

We walk him when he is restless,
comfort him when he is afraid,
cleaned when needed,
and loved
which is the most important thing of all,
always.

Br. Mark Dohle, OCSO
Holy Spirit Moanstery

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