Reflections………………………………The Wall

The World Wide Webb and its instant library, WEB MD and the monthly accounting of abnormalities that impact us, coupled with my love of research has made me a shade tree guru of geriatrics. Frequently I am asked if I am a medical doctor to which I reply ‘no’ . I quickly remember my mother after attending my graduation  where I received my doctorate, being asked,  “what kind of doctor is he?” to which she replied, “he is one that doesn’t do anything.” This being said, I find myself making inferences and observations without adequate information and even prescribing …….. However……….

It is my observation that a strange phenomenon occurs to most married couples that I have labeled ‘the wall.’ Somewhere between the child’s first tooth and the youngest daughter’s graduation they lose each other. It is like a tangled ball of string with stubborn knots. There is a slow unraveling.

Sometimes the wife lays awake at night trying to figure out who she is while the husband lays beside her snoring like a hibernating bear completely oblivious the winter of their lives is approaching. Slowly, the wall between them rises, cemented by the mortar of indifference.

Rapidly the couple try to find themselves. The wife enrolls in a course of her liking and the husband begins to have meetings with the ‘fellows.’ Inside, each is complaining about the insensitivity of the other. Each has begun to climb inside a ‘tomb’ and love begins to die.

When love dies, it is not in a moment of angry battle, nor when fiery bodies lose their heat. It lies exhausted at the bottom of a wall it could not scale.

A man was walking in a wilderness. He became lost and was unable to find his way out. Another man met him. “Sir, I am lost, can you show me the way out of this wilderness?” “No said the stranger, “I cannot show you the way out of the wilderness, but maybe if If walk with you, we can find it together.”

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Recently I met a lady I had not seen in many years. Her immediate response to me was, “you haven’t changed a bit.  You look just like you did the last time I saw you.” Thinking silently, I said to myself, “she has a severe problem with her eyesight!” I am old and I have numerous wrinkles on my face. However, my observation of my friend was quite different. She did not have a wrinkle on her forehead or other parts of her face. In fact she looked as if her ‘ponytail’ was too tight. I thought she looked considerably better before the obvious facelift.

In my youth, I recall the conversations of people my current age. These conversations revolved around ‘aches’ and ‘pains’ or what medications they were taking. I can vividly remember declaring that I would not go down the same conversational path. This path is a tough one not to enter. It is fraught with danger to your well being. Let me explain.

My thoughts came as a result of my background in psychology but more readily from a daily devotion as I was reading Psalm 92:14, ….”they will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh….”

As often as I can I visit my 92 year old brother who is in an independent living facility. The residents run the gamut with their daily attitudes. Many  are negative and grouchy and you can become tired just being in their presence. There is another attitude within the same group that is characterized by aliveness, smiles, engaging. You immediately become energized by their presence. From these two illustrations, I readily promote an attitude of positiveness to eliminate wrinkles.

The same Psalm previously quoted also says……’proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night……..” A wonderful approach for the aging. It goes like this: I proclaim and declare I will not say anything negative today about anyone. Begin each day with this plan of action and at evening prior to going to bed review your thoughts and plan for the next day. Don’t become a recluse, stay active. Don’t shun trips, gatherings or places that you feel are for ‘older’ people. Don’t deny your age.

You may acquire physical wrinkles, but those wrinkles will not deter from your appearance if you have an attitude of positiveness and actively engage people and places.

It is wonderful to be young, with

clear sight, acute hearing, elastic

step, pulses drumming to the march

of exhilarating health. But old age

has glories that youth cannot know. It

is a blessed old age indeed if it ends

brightly at evening time.

Author unknown

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As a young child a myth circulated throughout the community concerning a ‘boogie man’. It seems the boogie man only made his/her entry at night and only in households where there were children. Signs of this mysterious phenomenon were cracking noises inside the house, leaves and limbs on trees close to the house and other unexplainable happenings. It appeared parents had a sixth sense and knew when the boogie man was close. Parents notified their “awake” children with a warning such as “you better go to sleep or the boogie man is going to get you.” “You better stop that noise or the boogie man is going to get you.” Many nights I would lay awake listening for this mystical thing/person. There was one thing that made me unafraid and that was the light shining underneath my doorway. As long as I could see the light I was okay and not afraid. I am told many children had to go to sleep with a light on in their room.

We have just concluded one of the greatest celebrations, i.e. Christmas, we have in our annual calendar. By now, Christmas trees have been removed, wreaths stored away and the many ornaments, including a multitude of lights, are safely in place awaiting next year’s celebration. The celebration is silent……………..we cannot let it remain silent nor can we turn off the light.

We have a current day ‘boogie man.”……… Mass shootings are no longer a rare occurrence. The relentless reporting of wide spread sexual harassment dominates the news. Atheists are hell-bent on eradicating any mention of God. Drug addiction is at epidemic proportions. The possibility of nuclear war is closer than ever. These are only the tip of the iceberg….Did someone cut the light out?

My biggest concern is a culture drifting toward darkness. Negativism abounds. if  you are not sure of what I mean watch the news broadcast or other media outlets. Your psyche is filled with darkness and if your viewpoint is negative your whole body and ‘being’ will be full of darkness. Beware, it is a boogie man that will consume you and the light inside of you will become darkness. This leads to an outlook on life. If your eye is healthy (what you see and hear) your whole body will be healthy. If your eye is bad (what you see and hear) your whole body will be filled with darkness. The eye is the lamp of the body. (Matthew 6:22).

Let everyday be Christmas and let God’s light shine  through you so others might not remain in darkness.  

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 The shot had good trajectory but with a slight hook. Hitting in the fairway it rolled into the rough and high grass. My partner and I started the search, and at a distance I could see a ball. “I’ve got it,” I said with a sigh of relief. Reaching for the ball I could see inscribed on the cover was the word ‘MOJO.’ “MOJO,” I have never heard of it.” “What kind of ball is this?” “Somebody lost their MOJO.”

Have you lost your MOJO?” Over the years I have heard the term used almost in jest. “The team has lost its Mojo.” “We need to get our mojo working together.” “Man, he has got the MOJO.” Each of these statements can be defined by whatever definition you want to give it. The dictionary defines ‘mojo’ as charm, personal magic, power that allows someone to be very effective, successful. Let’s ask the question again, “have you lost your mojo?”

For the purpose of this writing I am centering my thoughts to the older generation, usually defined as over the age of 60. I hasten to add I have never thought of myself as old. However, as I observe my fellow geriatrics I observe most of the individuals in this group have one major concern……they have lost their MOJO! Secondly, the observations do not appear to be caused by external pressures , conflicts, problems or perceived failures, but by the internal responses to these pressures. To which, I have to ask, “are we our own enemy to the aging process or losing our MOJO?”

As a student and a professional in the area of human behavior, careful consideration is given to the aging process. From this less than pure research the following recommendations are made to assist in regaining your Mojo.

  • Become a Whole Person: The composition of each of us is tri-dimensional in the shape of an equilateral triangle…Body, Mind, and Spirit. All three must be addressed in order to have a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Writers such as C.S. Lewis firmly believe the base of the triangle is the Spirit and the other two, body and mind, grow in direct relationship to the connectivity of the spirit. Therefore, the base of the triangle is the spiritual dimension. In Lewis’ book Mere Christianity he clearly indicates there are some issues we cannot solve in and of ourselves but require direct assistance from God. Therefore, the first recommendation in maintaining your MOJO is to have an ongoing relationship with God. The key word is relationship.

create an atmosphere of health and wholeness in your family”

  • Clean Out Your Inbox: We shouldn’t feel enslaved to the desktop or smartphone notifications, and constantly checking e-mails. Our Facebook and e-mails hold messages ranging from today’s recipes to the latest football score. A clear inbox increases flexibility and allows for you to be present in the present with the ability to respond accordingly. These tools can easily cease to be tools and become addictions robbing  your mental health and your MOJO.

our growth depends not on how many experiences we devour, but how many we digest.”

  • Take a Staycation: We all need to look forward to something. A staycation is where you stay home but go someplace within a short distance during each day. Your spouse,or a special friend have breakfast or lunch in that cafe you always wanted to visit. Find that “Hallmark” town and just browse. Visit a historical spot or museum. If you enjoy people, as I do, sit on the park bench and “people watch.” Today get your annual calendar and set aside a series of ‘staycations’ for the coming year.  You can call them MOJO days.

The important thing is somehow to begin………”

Three resolutions to help put the MOJO back in your life. Remember, SPEND YOUR LIFE LIVING. Happy New Year!!!



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Reflections……………………………My Friend


Herbert Mobley

Sitting atop a hill the church glistened in the sunlight. There had not been any announcement, visiting hours or other communication indicating there was to be a funeral this day. However, in the back side of the cemetery was a solitary tent with chairs as if a funeral was expected.

Long before the appointed hour cars began to arrive and arrive they did, in record numbers.

It was only a few days before when my friend had been taken to the hospital for acute heart congestion. In short time it became evident the death angel had arrived. With family gathered at the bedside quietly singing the great old gospel Amazing Grace, and as his wife kissed him, my friend slipped off into eternity. All who were present; doctors, technicians, nurses who were witnessing the scene were filled with tears and emotion.

Several weeks earlier my friend and I had breakfast together. It was here he shared his thoughts about the impending events. “Gary, I am tired.” and “I am not afraid of dying…. “I know where I am going and I look forward to it.” On this occasion, as before, he and I engaged in some deep theological and philosophical discussions. It would be the last of such discussions. I shall never forget our talk centering on what it takes to have a successful life. His comments were: “It is relatively simple with only three things God requires of us.” First, stand for what is just……always do what is right…… it is never wrong to do what is right.” Secondly, love mercy…have a forgiving spirit. Thirdly, walk humbly with God….. have fellowship with Him and one another. (Micah 6:8 paraphrased). These were the three principles that governed my friend’s everyday life.

Herbert, my friend, and I had spent our formative years in school and as teenagers worked in many differ venues together. We spent time hunting wild game and did our fair amount of ‘cruisin.’ Although time and distance separated us in our adult life, we were always able to “pick up” where we left off.

In keeping with my friend’s wishes, it was a funeral without any sermons, eulogies or speeches, just simple reflections on a life well lived. A church yard filled to overflowing with very adjective you can think of describing this giant of a man….My Friend. It is no doubt we will see each other again and pick up where we left off…….

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Reflections……………………Super Seniors

via Reflections……………………Super Seniors

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Reflections……………………Super Seniors

via Reflections……………………Super Seniors

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Reflections……………………Super Seniors

They began to arrive a full ten minutes before the appointed hour. ‘Fashionably late’ does not exist in their vocabulary. Their step was not as lively as it once was and their hearing not as acute. Vision has to be assisted with glasses and their mental processing, while outstanding, is not as readily apparent as in early days. This was a group, 35 in number, June and I invited to our home for an afternoon of fun and festivities. They represent the matriarchs of the town of Sewanee, Tennessee. They are the heart of the local Woman’s Club, Book Club, Garden Club and the list goes on. They come from a wide array of backgrounds and are well versed in world culture having traveled extensively. The majority are widows with an age range from 65 to 87.

Many of their husbands were professors at the University of the South. The one common denominator is their extensive volunteer work at the Hospitality House, a place designed to help others and provide services for less fortunate, high school scholarships and programs at the local medical facility.

In addition to the grandiose array of food, it was a time of Christmas remembrances and I remember when.” Fifteen questions of Christmas Trivia were prepared in advance and made for lively conversation and laughter. The neighbors could surely hear our voices when the trivia question was asked: “What Christmas carol does the Peanuts gang sing at the end of A Charlie Brown Christmas?’ It was Eleanor, our Senior member, who came forth with a strong and beautiful voice leading us with “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”                    

Today our home is quiet as we await our family’s arrival for our annual celebration. I cannot help but smile as I reflect on having been apart of a joyous occasion with a group of individuals who have made this year’s celebration EXTRA SPECIAL !

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Reflections…………………………Out of Sorts


Is there something wrong mama?” “No, I am just out of sorts.”

Out of sorts, is this stress…maybe, is it depression,…could be, is it hormonal… possibly. We are taught in Psychology  our current mental state is the sum total of the emotional effects of your life experiences. You could rightly ask, “what does that mean?”

When you are out of sorts, it feels like something is tugging on your psyche. Your mind is going in one direction, but is pulled in another direction. Have you been out of sorts? If so, your mind is telling you that there are unfinished businesses, worries. I hasten to add, out of sorts is not the same as the blahs. We all get the blahs, that down and out feeling with no explanation. So how do you address these two common human behaviors.

Tucked away in one of my filing cabinets I have stored in a manila folder; letters, comments, honors and items of interest that make me feel good. They have no meaning to anyone but me. When I am out of sorts or have the blahs I frequently visit this folder and have a quiet time reflecting. Inside this folder is an envelope with comments for whom I do not have the author. I had written the comments on the back of the envelope many years ago. Therefore, I can determine I was somewhere at a gathering and took notes from the speaker.  Shortly after taking the notes, I started the process which the speaker alluded and have continued to this day. It has had a profound affect upon my psyche and my general well-being. This is how my notes read:

Begin each day by finding something beautiful to notice. It doesn’t have to be something you see; it could be a smell, perhaps the cooking in the kitchen, it could be the sound of the breeze slightly rustling the leaves in the trees, or the way the morning light catches a leaf as it falls to the ground. Please look for these things, and cherish them. For, although it may sound trite to some, these things are the “stuff” of life. The little things we are put on earth to enjoy. The things we often take for granted.

I have recommended the action in this paragraph to numerous individuals and it has received more positive feedback than any other counseling I have done.

This frame of mind takes some time and effort to accommodate. Be patient you will have to gradually begin the mental process. You will begin to notice beauty all through your day. I find myself seeing what I call “patches of God light” throughout the day. It is not uncommon for me to stop and bring these events to the attention of someone else. For beginners, take notice of something special you see on your lunch break today. Shed any mental baggage you may have and be sure you are not carrying grudges or an unforgiving spirit. With these suggestions and an eye for the beauty that surrounds you, in a matter of two or less weeks you will find the blahs and the ‘out of sorts’ will disappear.

Mama you have a smile on your face.” “I know, I got some things settled.”

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Ramblins……………………………..Senior Citizen

Source: Ramblins……………………………..Senior Citizen

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