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On ageing and death

Always looking out into the distance,

there is much beyond the window.

Today it’s dappled light, a reminder of Hopkins, from the days of childhood.

Childhood - what is that? So many memories, so long ago;

Getting old is not easy, so many friends ageing so quickly and more travelling beyond the distance, beyond the window.

How is it for me and my family and friends?

My own special mother?

Just heard some old ladies in the ferry say:

Oh, to be young again!

Indeed, to be young again.

(From 'Storm Clouds & Silver Linings; My Journey' by Tom Stodulka)

We are all getting older every day of our lives. As they say, time and tide waits for no man or woman. When we are young, getting older is mostly furthest from our minds. Though sometimes it can be a positive event such as turning 18 or 21, when we are granted some privilege or another, being able to vote or enjoy alcohol or gain some extra freedoms, not previously enjoyed. We are physically agile and strong and happy to take on the world. Risk taking is often second nature and the consequences of taking on dare devil activities are way back in our minds or maybe not there at all.

Original artwork by Zdeny Stodulka

However, ageing takes on a whole new meaning in one’s 60s and 70s and the process tends to come at a considerable cost, in both a financial and emotional sense. This ageing process can come with its fair amount of challenges. There might be an aching back, some sciatica, the eyes and ears may need extra TLC, the skin too and even the heart may beat more erratically, not because Cupid is around, but the arteries are suffering and cholesterol is too high. Also going to your GP or a specialist is a regular occurrence and gains in importance and necessity for survival and attaining the right level of comfort in one’s latter years. Friends and family members are being lost, as they fall victim to some incurable illness. Indeed to be young again.


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