THREE STAGES OF LIFE

In the early days, a baby spends the vast majority of time in a crib.

The middle years of life are spent grinding it out for the accumulation of stuff.

The final days or years are spent in a small room, in bed, in a nursing home to the tune of $7,000 dollars a month; if you can afford to pay for it.

Seems grim doesn’t it? Why? Because it is grim! Keep reading because hope is coming.

That beautiful dining set that cost 14 grand sells for $1,800 at the estate sale. The kids want none of the photos on the wall or treasures you held dear; unless they can be sold at a good price.

Too often the heirs fight to get more than their share of the inheritance, even though they seldom, if ever, visited their parents in the last years of their lives

Ironically, many end up needing the identical care a six-week-old baby demands. From spoon feedings and toilet duties at the top of the list in the final days and even the last years of life.  

Grandma King, 98, Susie’s mom said, “Old age is not for sissies!”

My wife Susie’s Grandma Jessie Williams was remarkable in thousands of ways:

Once she had a garden filled with flowers and edibles of all kinds to be envied.

She baked bread and rolls, bakers of the world would die to know how she did it.  

She asked for a push lawn mower at 84; refused to wear depends at night until they locked her in her bed at night.

She was 108 still fighting to get to the bathroom in the night on her own. In her eyes, ladies didn’t wear diapers.

In her tiny room, Grandma Jessie wanted Susie to see something, special to her, hand in hand she led Susie to her one window.

With gratitude and joy in her heart, Jessie said, “Susie I used to have a garden and now I have a window.” She turned to her and entered into what Wendell Berry wrote in his poem, The Peace of Wild Things, “… I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.

As, husband, father, teacher, coach, Jesus follower, lover of God, life, and people it has been a privilege beyond words to live in the midst of kids who want to be great basketball players and win at life. They have helped me be a kid again.

Relentlessly my life experience message has been to carefully teach what I know about basketball and emotional intelligence to others.

The course description for living the second and third stages of life is all there in Psalm 23, but it takes a lifetime to master.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

– Psalm 23

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