Let me live the autumn of my years as beautifully as that lyric makes of it.
Let me hope that while my body may fail in strength
my spirit will grow in wisdom
Let me see that being independent is not necessarily
an end all and be all
and that embracing interdependence
may be the greatest gift I can give those who love and care about me.
Let me look out the window and see not how few summers there are left to me
but how beautiful are the summers left to me.
Let me be relieved to know that my past is no longer my past
that it is instead my history—
my story of me—
and that it no longer has a hold on me.
Let me look at my body and see beauty,
Not the beauty of the curved hip and the raised breast,
but simply beauty
Let me look at my children and see them not as I thought I shaped them
or as I thought I influenced them
but exactly as they are
separate and apart from me
while at the same time
connected to me
Let me remember that everything is old and everything is new
that the world is either/or as well as both/and
that art is the only thing that make sense
and that music can take me across the bridge to the other side
Let me remember that God is made of stories not religions
that kindness changes everything
that war is never good
that 90 percent of what we see in others is projection
that the truth is worth whatever it costs to tell it
that presentation is everything
and that there is no such thing as a bad glass of tequila
Let me be able to lie in my last hour
and feel nothing but gratitude for it all.
Exactly as it is and exactly as it was
and in these ways
May I learn the secret of aging—and dying—well.
Author: Carmelene Siani
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Ariane Hunter/Flickr