©2015 Susan Noyes Anderson
A wedge of years has crept between our hearts,
though we are of an age in days alone.
My waning health your self-esteem disarms,
for you absorb my limits as your own.
We are no longer yoked as equally,
a situation not of our design.
Your needs run over mine, mine over yours.
We’re marching out of step in this decline.
The love remains, more tired and tested now,
with slights and strictures never felt before.
Is there no common ground for willing hearts…
no armistice to end this aging war?
Growing old takes no small amount of courage. As I watch aging parents, friends and even myself, I am increasingly aware of the strains that worsening health can place upon even the most robust marriages. It occurs to me that, in addition to the sadness of watching a loved one’s powers of mind and/or body wane, perhaps we do not like to see age-related changes in a loved one because it mirrors the ones we see or fear to see in our ourselves. Confronted with their vulnerability and reminded of our own, we are called upon to work harder at accepting what is and relegating what was to fond memory. The more we can embrace change as a natural part of life, the more we can embrace each other as we begin this winding down phase that is no less valuable and should be no less meaningful than any other.
“The afternoon knows what the morning never expected.” – Robert Frost
“A tree with red leaves is like an old man with gray hair. Likewise, my love for you was blue, but now it’s orange, and that’s a compliment.” – Jarod Kintz