Vol.XI No.XI Pg.8
January 1975

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

An eighty-odd years young woman, almost too weak to turn in her bed, smiled at Vivian and me and began. to talk of her great-grandchildren, the presents she asked someone to buy for them, the flowers she wanted to plant for her neighbor — when I get out of here. Nothing but thoughts of others and an optimistic look at the future. Not all elderly people maintain this outlook, but enough of them do to put sunshine in the life of younger folk.

Old brother Anthony was the first man I ever heard say he was ready for heaven — and make me believe it. He was not boastful. On the contrary, he was most humble; but he said he had trusted the Lord, and tried to serve Him faithfully, and he had no doubts about his eternal home, for the Lord had promised to fix a place for him. Im glad that experience was early in my preaching life, for it has given me a great lift in dark times.

Elmer Cartwright, a man of faith, was 93 when I talked with him about a meeting date several years in the future. As I left I said, See you in 73, to which he replied, You may be here, but thats asking a lot from me. The date was later changed to 75, and he wont make it — but his firm handshake and impish smile will be there, and continue with me. At 95 he gave me a walking stick he had carved— for your old age, he said.

When a sixty-year-old brother complained to an elderly woman about a colon problem, she dismissed it by saying, I had that back when I was 75, but it didnt amount to much. Us kids dont get the sympathy we need.

If you do not know any elderly folk you are missing something fine in life. Meet a few, and give them a chance to know you, and be known. Let their casual treatment of great spans of time help you to better understand your own years. Try to learn the spirit of those who can face lifes end without growing morbid or bitter.

Following a burial, a group of patriarchs leaned on their canes and remembered when. One asked, How old are you Uncle Ned? When told, 96, he cackled, Dont hardly pay you to go home, does it? That would have been cruel had I said it — but the crack came from a man, 97. And one said that when he first came to Burnet, The sun was jist a little bitty thang, a way up thar; and, y doggy, they warnt no moon atall.