Older Americans Month: 14 Messages of Wisdom from Our Residents

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Though no one has all the answers in life, the passing of time and life experiences seniors posses places them among some of the wisest of humankind. Among many other monthly observances, May is dedicated to Older Americans Month, which makes it the perfect time to showcase some of the diverse life experiences, insights and memories our residents have.

Read some of the meaningful life reflections from residents across our communities:


What is the best thing about growing old?

“Being alive at an older age.” 


“Being able to see great grandchildren. Never thought that would happen, but I’m still here. I’ve outlived most of the rest of my family. I never thought I would live to be this age.” 


“The best part of being old is not caring so much about all the silly things that used to bother me as a young man. They all seem so trivial now. I have come to terms with my insignificance, and I’ve made peace with it.”


“My favorite part of growing older was definitely retirement. I don’t have to get up and go to work anymore, I feel so much more rested and peaceful, and I have much more time to focus on the things I truly care about. Another perk is getting to be a little more relaxed about your diet. Have that dessert! You made it this far; you deserve it!”


What is your legacy. How do you want to be remembered?

“My legacy is, I am a trailblazer, I helped open the doors for other black men and women to get out of poverty. I’d like to be remembered as “a good man.” 


“I want to be remembered as a nice friendly person who would help someone if I could; someone who loved her family.” 


“I want to be remembered for my kindness – my decision to stay kind despite the harshness I have experienced. I also want to be remembered as at least a decent song writer, or maybe even a good one. “ 


“All I want to be known as is the girl with the big heart.” 


“It’s most important to me that I am remembered for my devotion to God. I try everyday to be the best example of Christ that I can be, and I hope that’s the first thing people think of when they think about me. I also hope to reach as many people as I can through my music. I have been give these talents by my creator, and I want to share them with all who are willing to listen. Music is so important for our souls and it can connect us on such an intimate level. I love that I get to be a part of making that happen.” 


What were some turning points in your life, and what did you gain from them? 

“When I had a heart transplant that’s still good after 15 years and was healed of that cancer, I’m cancer-free after 10 years. It taught me to be patient and wait on the Lord.” 


“Losing two infants, both parents who were only in their 50s, each a year apart, and losing my best friend from 7th grade were turning points in my life. Each time I asked God for strength to get me through. So I’ve learned that my faith will always be there.” 


 “February 1st, 1968. I was fighting in the Vietnam War at this time, and this particular day is one that has stuck with me. It was after this battle filled with so much carnage, I realized something very important about humankind; we are cruel to ourselves. Yes, we were fighting for something important, but we were also causing irreparable damage to ourselves in the process. I realized that war was selfish and that it was merely a consequence of our lack of connection to our spiritual selves. We wouldn’t want to hurt each other if we truly saw the value in one another.” 


“A huge turning point in my life was the day my mother was diagnosed with late stage cancer. I had lived such a sheltered like prior to this and had never experienced such fear and uncertainty. It was quite overwhelming. Another turning point was the day she died. Though I struggled with feelings of sadness and darkness, I came out of this experience with a newfound passion for life and respect for death. I learned a lot about the “other side” as I watched my mother passed away. It intrigued me so much that I began to study it more in depth. Overall, it gave me an overwhelming sense of peace about death that I had never had before.” 


“There have been many turning points in my life, but perhaps my most recent one was reaching my 90s. It’s hard to believe I’m that old. It’s like I just woke up one day and here I was! Another recent turning point was meeting my great grandchildren. Holding that little newborn baby in my arms was a feeling I can’t even put into words. Of course, I had a wonderful connection with my children and my grandchildren when I held them for for the first time, but this was something new and different. It was wonderful.”