In Praise of Aging and Passing

Courtesy of the author.
There is as much glory in the fall leaves,
As there is in the spring blossoms.
Thank you for the beautiful colors in nature,
And the different hues in my life.
When my eyesight grows dim,
  You have shown me how to see
    the pattern rather than the details.
When my hearing starts to fail,
  You have taught me how to listen with my heart.
When my voice sounds weak and hoarse,
 You have led me to discover that
  there is more strength in gentle whispers.
When my hands become unsteady,
  You have reminded me
   how I have never functioned without you.
When my joints begin to hurt,
   You are telling me to slow down.
When my skin wrinkles and sags,
  You have made me appreciate
   the lovely forms you created in every stage of life.
When those close to me start leaving one by one,
  You have dawn me closer to your wounded-self.
When my memory deteriorates,
 I know that Life with you is easy when I forget trifles.
When I can’t keep up with the recent advances in knowledge,
  I know deep down that your Truth is simple and lasting.
Lord, you close a door and open a window.
  When the time comes for you to close all the doors,
  You will have opened the Way to your perfect love.
No more doubts, discernment or decisions,
  But instant, free and total communion.
Until then, please accept my imperfect love.

Many years ago, the poet gave this prose prayer to one of her pastors.
Inside the card she had painted the painting shown here. 
In early 2020, he showed that card and painting to her. 
He had kept it through many postings and into retirement.

Vicky Chen is an alumna of St. Michael and Regis, a music helper and an active parishioner of Holy Rosary, Burlington, Ontario.

  • Caroline Maloney
    Posted at 01:27h, 11 March Reply

    This poem is sooo beautiful! I know I will read, re-read, reflect and pray with this poem for some time! It is so rich, and touches so much! Had to send a copy to my sister! Thank you, Vicky Chen!

  • Peggy Spencer
    Posted at 04:16h, 11 March Reply

    A beautiful reflection of the ‘winter’ season of our lives. Thank you.

  • Lorraine Majcen
    Posted at 09:22h, 11 March Reply

    Thank you Vicky! What a touching and heart stirring poem. I sense a peace and acceptance in the spirit of what is. God is the one in control of our lives, and there is beautiful resignation and peace with that. Thank you once again Vicky!

  • Richard Grover
    Posted at 09:24h, 11 March Reply

    “Just what the doctor ordered” as we pass through the end of a long winter and(hopefully) a long ONE YEAR of COVID 19. Thank you Vicky

  • Sylvia Lee
    Posted at 12:23h, 11 March Reply

    Thank you Vicky for these inspiring words and the beautiful painting.

    Your poem helps us to treasure ourselves and appreciate every stage of our lives, especially when we are aging. Very encouraging message !

    May God bless you.

  • suzanne renaud
    Posted at 12:33h, 11 March Reply

    Such a beautiful poem … so well said … I will keep it as well.
    Thank you!

  • Mike Hyland
    Posted at 12:39h, 11 March Reply

    A wonderful poetic reflection. Thanks!

  • Philip Shano
    Posted at 16:00h, 11 March Reply

    Thanks so much Vicky. I will write you privately

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 01:46h, 12 March Reply

    Thank you Vicky!

  • Grace Colella
    Posted at 01:00h, 13 March Reply

    I was touched by this poem. A lesson in acceptance, gratitude and humility. Thank you Vicky!

  • Dee Sproule
    Posted at 09:18h, 18 March Reply

    Thank you, Vicky, for teaching me what I’ve been trying to understand about abandonment, dying to self! This is lovely and very much appreciated.
    God bless you.

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