I get by with a little help from my friends

We all need a helping hand from time to time, a hand out, a hand up. We hold our children’s hands at the beginning of life and, if we are blessed, our children hold our hands and our hearts to see the seasons through. At the same time though, the desire for independence is a driving force from our first breath until our last, to radiate courage, a will to live, and a will to thrive. I often wonder why are we eager to share a smile, a hug, a kiss, an embrace but slow to rest our heads on a shoulder or to accept a supportive arm around our waists?  Emotions are the fuel that brings us together and independence is the force that drives our desire to stand alone. It’s ok to live between the lines of need and solitude as the seasons come and go. It’s ok too, as we age, to accept the kindness of others one moment and then to push away that helping hand in the next.

My mom says old age is not for sissies and I stand by her words. We dig deep for inner strength and try so hard not to depend on anyone to meet our needs. Human nature is a force to be reckoned with, both a formidable friend and a foe. “I’ll do it by myself” may be one of the most repeated chants of our lives, from the age of one to ninety-nine. 

Ok, that’s fine, it’s good to be self-reliant, resilient, and strong.

We live in the 21st century, a time when we have all learned to adapt or be left behind. We post, we tweet, we text, and we skype. So, why not embrace that independent spirit that resides within and accept a helping hand from technology?  A million assistive devices are only a mouse click away. Need some help to get in and out of the car,a recliner or bed? Google car swivel seats, car handy bars, key extenders, chair and couch canes, grab bars and risers. Can’t remember to take meds according to schedule? Search for talking pill boxes and pill box alarms. Want to stay in your home, to age in place? Sign up for a PERS, your own personal emergency response system and stay safe.

Age fearlessly, age fiercely, stoke the fire and burn bright through your days. Go gently into the night though and hug someone you love, hold her hand, hold his heart, and give, and receive.

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