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When I Was Young - LBC Post

This week's topic, WHEN I WAS YOUNG, was contributed by the one and only Grannymar, a woman who takes life as it comes and teaches it a thing or two.

There's an idea going around that growing old in India is great. Apparently, grey hair and wrinkles are revered over here.  Well, dream on.  It may be that getting old in a culture where the traditional respect for the elderly is still alive is wonderful, but from what I've seen, India is not that much different from anywhere else and as it is in the rest of the world, if you want to be part of the world you should keep your youth and beauty. Even if you live in India.   Sad, but true.

Ageing is something that happens to everyone, but the truth is that lots of different factor accelerate the ageing process. Diet, pollution, exposure the the sun - I could go on and on.  I once met a woman once who was over forty, but looked twenty five.  She was a scientist colleague of my husband from a place called Gujarat. She was quite happily unmarried and seemed to observe a lot of daily devotions, reading from the Bhagavad Gita and reciting jap (rosary) in her spare time.  But she had this beauty that didn't come from applying expensive cosmetic or youth elixirs.  She had an inner glow and a vibrancy that seemed to challenge age.  She also had a youthful outlook.

The biggest factor in ageing seems to be attitude.  A certain elderly lady who is very closely related to me is falling to pieces because she lies on the bed all day and cries out to God to take her from this life.  Sooner or later her prayers shall be answered.  Meanwhile, she continues to live in misery.

Fourteen years ago, my mother was on the way out.  She wasn't yet sixty and she got cancer.  She didn't want to die so early in life so she set out to find a cure.  She took to religion in a big way and read a lot of books on the topic of scripture and illness and disease.  In my younger days, as a Catholic, we were often taught by teachers and priests that suffering and illness, bravely borne, was a way to sainthood and that if it was God's will that you should have cancer, then there was nothing you could do about it.  Imagine my mother's surprise when she discovered that God's will for His people was no such thing.  He wants His people well and healthy.  My mother found a line in the book of Isaiah, chapter 53: 4-5, KJV

 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 

 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

My mother was healed of cancer and attributes her healing to her belief in these verses.

Another favourite Bible verse is Ps. 105:5 (KJV)

"Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's."

That's a fabulous verse which works for lots of people I know.

In fact, a friend gave my mother her prayer book to read lately, a friend who could be described as a traditional Catholic.  One of the prayers was supposed to be written from the elderly addressed to God and it had a line that went something like:  "oh, Lord, I'm old and my eyes are dim and I can't walk well...."  What utter rubbish. It's as if they're pre-programming people to think of themselves as decrepit.

I sure as heck don't want to programme myself to become old before my time.  So you'll never hear me saying 'when I was young.' If I wish to describe an incident which happened at an earlier stage in my life, I'll probably say "when I was younger." And that's the closest I'll get to "when I was young.

Photo courtesy of All-Free Download


  1. I like your style - "When I was younger". I suppose I should stop saying "In the olden days..."

    Speaking of cures. I had a relative travelling to Lourdes who was stricken en route to the shrine of miracles. Paralysed from the waist down from after hours standing in a train doorway. He was cured back home in Ireland by a course of bathing in a big cauldron of seawood and goodness knows what else, mixed up by his mother. Sometimes miracles happen at home. (As anyone who has seen a man wash a dish can testify. OK, OK, I am of course not referring to all the paragons of virtue reading this comment.)

  2. Well, as you know I accept and embrace my grey hair and wrinkles, they are part of the person I am. I must tell you a funny story.

    One day recently, before the weather turned cold, I was out for a walk. Casually dressed in my skinny jeans and boots, with a fitted little jacket over the top, the sunshine warmed my soul and I skipped along to the sound of salsa music drifting from an open window. I became aware of a manly footfall behind me. It seemed to move in step with me for several minutes.

    Eventually the man, about fifty, moved to pass my by, as he did so he glanced in my direction, and the look of surprised shock was evident. What he saw from the front did not seem to fit with his image of me from the back! I winked, and grinned, to let him know I knew what he was thinking!  He smiled and walked on.

    Yes, my face is stamped with laughter lines and the hair that frames my face has assumed the glow of natural hi-lights. Hell, grey hair is better than no hair at all, and it keeps my head warm. To see the real me, you need to look into my eyes, we are after all told that: ‘The eyes are the window to the soul’ and souls are ageless.

  3. If I'd known I was going to live this long I'd have take better care of myself. Trite but sadly true. But I have enjoyed the ride for the most part and have no wish to step back into the paqst - save of course for the music it spawned.

  4. Doesn't living accelerate aging? I'm quite sure that time passes more quickly the older one gets. And I agree with you...there is no reason to think of ourselves or refer to ourselves as old. We are who we are from early days until it's time to leave this plane...ageless.

  5. Some people are born old gaelikaa. They are incapable of saying" when I was young." Many of the old people you talk about in this post belong to that category. Most people however grow naturally and pass away when the time comes and almost all of them will indeed look back and say "When I was young."

  6. I don't mind growing older because I'm young at heart, and I give myself permission to do young hinge! despite my age. :)

  7. Blackwatertown - I could well believe it. I had jaundice once and was cured by a neighbour's family cure of bitter powder eaten inside a banana. I kid you not.

  8. Grannymar - It's all about attitude. I thought you were youthful looking for a woman with a nom de plume like yours, when we met in Dublin last year.

  9. Shackman - I'm with you on that one.

  10. Mother - the soul is ageless.

  11. Mother - the soul is ageless.

  12. Rummuser - you know exactly what I'm talking about. As usual.

  13. Delirious - The spirit is ageless so the outer shell doesn't matter.


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