"Let Evening Come -- Reflections on Aging" by Mary C. Morrison considers the sources of strength and dignity that truly allow people to grow old gracefully and to retain a joy for life. The following is an excerpt from the 87-year-old author's book:
"The difficulties of old age give us the arena in which we can take up this old-age challenge of finding out who we are. Dealing with these difficulties, we can grow in self-knowledge. We can even become wise. We can learn how to live into old age well, how to move on gracefully, how to go with the flow of life.
Let me tell a parable. A certain young woman went one day to visit each of two elderly friends. Pressed for time, she could stay only 15 minutes instead of the hour that she usually spent with each one. The first woman said, 'Why did you bother to come at all if that's all the time you can spend with me?'
The second woman said, 'But it's so good of you to make the time for me when you are so busy.'
Now, which of them do you think is headed into a happy day and a happy old age?"