There are some lessons only wisdom and
experience can teach us.
I have worked with the aged for many years.
In doing so I have gained wisdom beyond my
age. For it is only those who traveled down
the road before me who can report back
what lies ahead.
I take time to listen and by doing so I gain a
new perspective of growing old.
Yesterday something triggered a memory that,
at the time, felt so powerful that I consciously
filed it away as one of those gems I knew I'd not
They were having a birthday cake for one of the
residents in a nursing home I often visited.
While lighting the many candles one man jokingly
called it a "fire hazard."
There were so many candles that by the time
they sang for her, some had already melted
down. Still, there weren't enough. She was 85.
After all the happy singing and memories shared,
I sat next to the birthday girl.
"I hope my cake becomes a fire hazard," I said.
She smiled politely.
We sat quietly for a few minutes just taking in the
moment. I believe that many of those in attendance
were flipping through the pages of their own life.
Memories of good times and not so good tip toed
through their minds filtered somewhat by the
natural aging process. I think in some way we
unknowingly apply selective memory tactics and
later on in life see things the way we want to rather
that the way it was at the time.
Suddenly a young volunteer came to give the
birthday girl a hug.
"So, what great advice can you give me for a life
well spent?" she asked.
The woman paused for a moment and said, "All of
us have a light that we share with the world. It is real.
It is who God created us to be."
She stopped for a moment as she gathered her
thoughts. When speaking with older folks it is always
important to be patient. One must never hurry them.
They didn't rush to get here, so wait and listen intently
to what they have to offer.
She continued. "Some people see our light as dimming.
It has only grown brighter. The candles on the cake are
evidence of that."
The young girl was about to leave when I motioned that
she should wait. I sensed that the best was yet to be
"We blow out the candles but our light remains brilliant.
God is the source of our light. It never dims. How can
There it was. The young girl looked at me and whispered,
"Thank you!" She was glad she stayed.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, psychiatrist, a pioneer in
Near-death studies said:
"People are like stained glass windows, the true beauty can be
seen only when there is light from within. The darker the night,
the brighter the windows."
"No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed.
Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see
England Dan and John Ford Coley sang:
"Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer"
May there be too many candles for your cake!
"I wish you enough!"
~ Bob Perks ~
Good news - Bob Perks' first book, "I Wish You Enough," Embracing Life's Most Valuable Moments... is now available for ordering. Here's the "Link"
to get your copy of Bob's book: I Wish You Enough