“Come See Me Next Week,” Ensign, Sept. 1981, 57
I never gave much thought to my future old-age when I was young. But something happened to me on my way through life. I became old. Why did I think this only happened to others?
The day finally comes when we older folks look into the mirror with Snow White’s unforgettable question, “Who is the fairest of them all?” and the mirror answers honestly. We ask ourselves, why do I look so different from the way I feel inside?
Is there no solution to my dilemma? I told myself there were still things to do, places to go, and people to meet before I was ready to sleep. But my tired old tabernacle sits in an easy chair with a restless me inside.
How do we cope with sagging muscles, stiffened joints, aching parts which refuse to do our bidding, even though the spirit is more than willing to go on? I never thought growing old would be like this.
The “me” who inhabits this body has not changed that much. Inside, I want to take a brisk walk, go shopping, visit a friend, even do something daring such as climbing a mountain.
Perhaps the answer lies outside my frail frame. You can help. Come and visit. Let me smell your perfume. Bring the crisp, cold air of the outdoors inside to me. Play the music I want to hear. Read the news to me. Tell me about the world. Let’s discuss a good book, a football game, the new fashions. I am hungry to know it all.
Please talk to me as an equal, rather than someone who has been reduced to basket weaving or finger painting. My IQ has not turned white, or even slightly gray. And please try not to look at me with pity in your eyes. My life has been gloriously full of adventures, joys, good times as well as bad.
When you must take your leave of me, refrain from patting my cheek like a small child. Give my hand a hearty shake instead. You will help me to feel that I am still in the human race. And come to see me next week, and the next, and the next.