I’ve been thinking about mom a lot lately. I guess it’s because I’ve had lots of funerals for people her age.  Mom is ninety three and doing ok.  She’s in an assisted living facility in Tuscaloosa.

When we moved her there a few years ago, we only moved her about a mile.  It wasn’t very far, but on the other hand, it might as well have been half way around the world.

Someone said that the longest trip you will ever take is from your head to your heart. In your head you know something is right, but in your heart, (Can I do it?), is another matter.

We moved mom from her home, where she had been for several years, to the assisted living home. It was the right thing, and all of us (mom and her three sons) agreed, but doing it gave all of us some anxiety.

After a long, emotional day, and several hours of travel, I arrived back home in Carrollton. I was eager to tell my family about the experience, and they were eager to hear. I told them about mom’s new home. I shared with them the funny line that the lady at the assisted living facility said to me: “We are a cruise ship on land.”

She went on to explain that they try to have great entertainment, fun, and food just like a cruise ship. When I told Natalie that, she blurted “They have everything but shuffleboard!” Mind you, she has never been on a cruise, but she has read all about them. Maybe she knows that shuffleboard is the sport for cruises and the elderly. I don’t think it has made it to the Olympics.

It was good to have a hearty laugh at Natalie’s comment after a very “moving” day. Moving mom to an assisted living home is another reminder that life is “moving” on. I ain’t getting any younger. I gave up playing sports such as basketball and softball long ago. Every time I attempted to play, I would pull something—hamstring or calf muscle. Now I play golf and walk, but I feel that shuffleboard may be in my near future. Has anyone every pulled a muscle, torn an ACL, or ruptured an Achilles playing shuffleboard?

When I go for my annual checkup, the kind doctor tells me what my numbers are. What numbers? If you have to ask, then you are not old enough. The numbers are cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar numbers. If the numbers are good, then I get to delay the start of my shuffleboard career for another year.

Someone said the getting old “is not for sissies.” What they mean is that body parts hurt, joints ache, knees give way, and it is hard to get out of bed. I think maybe those who say that getting old is not for sissies, also mean that emotionally it is tough. It is tough to give up playing church league softball and basketball, when the mind says “yes,” but the body says “no.” Actually, the body says “heck no.”  Many senior adults have told me how difficult it is reaching the age when you go to funerals every week for a dear friend of 40 years.

Moving mom is a metaphor for life.

I think maybe the writer of Ecclesiastes had played some shuffleboard in his life. He may have written chapter 12 while on a cruise: “Remember thy creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come…and the strong men are bent (over).”

~Pastor Steve

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