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THE REWARDS OF AGE
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LETTER WRITTEN BY MY GRANDMOTHER HUNTER TO GOD, IN 1972 AT AGE 90

I’ve had another birthday, LORD;
So I may need a little help from now on.
It’s not that I mind the stiff joints;
It’s only that I don’t want the years to let me grow crabbed and narrow minded.

I want to hold on to my sense of humor; 
And to keep the corners of my mouth turned up.
I want to be able to see young folks from a broad viewpoint;
And to rejoice with them in their modern freedom, and ambition, and their fineness.

I want to keep step with the world of today;
And to accept new ideas and new standards, without just criticisms and comparisons.
If I can’t keep in the harness and help pull;
At least I don’t want to hang back and drag.

I want to look ahead with hope for the earth,
In the future of this old planet.
I want folks to visit with me because they enjoy it;
And not because they consider it a duty.

I want to be able to give of myself for the happiness of others;
Instead of merely accepting.
I want to keep my spirit young 
As the years pile up.

So maybe I’ll need a little help
From now on, LORD.
Please help me to be a serene old lady;
And thanks a lot.


Nan Hunter



Written by Regina Brett, in the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio
 
 "To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.  It is the most requested column I've ever written.

 My odometer rolled over to 50 in August 2006, so here is the column once more with some updates:

 1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
 2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
 3. Life is too short - enjoy it.
 4 Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
 5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
 6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
 7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
 8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
 9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey
 is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don't worry, God never
blinks.
16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write. 
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an
answer.

21.   Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.  Don't save it for a special occasion.  Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we'd grab ours back.
41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved. 
44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.
46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
48. If you don't ask, you don't get.
49. Yield.
50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.


Grandmother Hunter with JoAnn and Jon Jr. in Berkeley Springs
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