Dead Heading Petunias

Dead heading Petunias.  It’s something we all do if we have a flower garden.  We also dead head geraniums, or any other flower we want to keep looking lovely and beautiful.  Yet every time I do it, I feel really bad.  Why is it that for something to look beautiful and keep producing, you need to trim off the old and fading flowers?  Many days I feel like one of those old and fading flowers, and yet, I don’t want to be “trimmed off”, not just yet. So I feel guilty when I pick off the droopy flower heads, thinking, “this is just not fair – just because you are older and sort of droopy, you have to go?”  I’m older, I’m droopy some days, I walk with a limp because of my bad hip, but I still don’t want to be tossed away – not till I’m completely dead, anyway.  Which brings us to the whole topic of: “how do older people continue to contribute to life – or should they just be deadheaded like flowers?”  Recently I read Billy Graham’s latest book “Nearing Home”.  In many ways it was an inspiring book for people that are approaching old age – and it was reassuring that God can still use us even after we’ve lost the bright “bloom of youth”.  What is slightly disheartening is how society as a whole looks upon those of us who are “slightly droopy & past our prime” so to speak.  Beauty and youth are highly valued, much like in the plant world, unfortunately.  I for one will do my darndest to accept old age gracefully and try to continue to be a contributing member of society -even if that “society” is simply the small circle of my own family, friends, & neighbors- even after I’ve finally quit the work force.    I think about my own mom, who reached the ripe (“droopy and withered”!) old age of 91. She still loved to cook and bake for the family and her neighbors – her bread was still phenomenal!  She prayed for us all every single day, and was such an example of a Christ-focused woman.  She stayed informed on current events, had opinions on politics, and still loved her baseball team – IF they were winning! 🙂  She raised an awesome garden every year except the year of her death.  She canned fruit and made jam every year too, except that last one.  These she often gave away as gifts. So, when I start to worry a bit about the worth of myself as an older person, I will always think about mom.  I believe when people think about her, the first thing they think of was how much they knew she loved them AND how much they knew she loved God.  What great things to strive for!  Hang on people, I’m not ready to be deadheaded just yet! 🙂

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