Being old-A A +A
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
IS THERE a difference between being old, and getting old? I really did not realize such dissimilarity between the two. Well, to try to distinguish one state from another might be construed as nitpicking in a rather advanced form. But I think the first is a matter of time, while the second is a state of mind.
Thus, one is being old if he sometimes forgets his wife’s birthday or his wedding date, or his age, or his Mom’s death anniversary.
On the other hand, I believe one is getting old when he sometimes forgets where he put the pipe he had just smoked, or the book he was just reading or the coffee cup he was drinking only a while ago.
Well, my point is that I learned how to nitpick on these things last week when I wrote about my brother-in-law’s death and failed to distinguish between being just forgetful and consistently losing one’s memory like my Swedish brother-in-law.
At any rate, the term that came to my mind was Alzheimer’s disease, which is one of old age, according to the Reader’s Digest Dictionary of the English Language. My nephew, Tony Jr., called my attention about the fact that his Dad died with his memory still all right, although he had lately grown forgetful.
I realized that Tony Sr., though he was already 84, or one year older than I am, may sometimes forget his age but always remembers people.
During the burial mass last week, there were eight priests who officiated the ritual.
It was the first time that I learned he was sending young men who seriously wanted to be priests to the seminary. And among those who came and concelebrated the mass were some of them, along with some seminarians.
It was a deeply touching thought that he was sending some kids here to the seminary. (He had become an American citizen and so are all his children).
What struck me was the fact that he was actually sharing part of what material things he got with the young kids who wanted to enter the seminary. I learned that many of them come from Balamban and Liloan, the two parishes of his origin.
But I am sure there could be others who come from other places, too. The fact remains that he was one person I know who was sharing what he had in a quite unique manner, the first man I have known to do so.
Of course, one other thing I knew for some time now is the fact that my hometown is one of the towns in Cebu that have the most number of priests. Argao is said to be on top.
When I was 19 and had the opportunity to teach in grades five and six in Asturias town in 1949, one of my pupils is now a bishop in Bohol. So, I can share what Tony Sr. must have felt to see so many of those he had helped become a priest.
Indeed, sharing what opportunities in life one is able to receive, could lend all sorts of value to one’s own existence. Perhaps, it is what makes the world go round and round.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 28, 2013.