What happens when we are no longer the person we used to be?
After recently undergoing a procedure to ease pain in my knees, the follow up with the doctor netted some insights regarding aging.Throughout my life, participation in physical activities fed and nourished me. In school, when signed up for physical education classes, my academic performance increased, and there was more available energy. All things seemed possible.
Along with my peers, we were invincible, skiing from the first possible run until they kicked us off the mountain, hours of three on three volleyball, tennis, racketball and my arthritic hands now remind me, handball. Hiking, swimming, canoeing, all drawing me outside, to be physically active as renewal occurred.
Time at university, saw me working in the dining hall, as a girl Friday in an orchard, teaching swimming, and after graduation, a physically active occupation, outside while delighting in the wonders of creation. It was not unusual to walk four miles in a single shift.
Then life happens, injury, arthritis, choices and almost imperceptibly, I am no longer the same, no longer able to ski all day, hike for hours, or get up off the floor. The shift occurred slowly, creeping in almost imperceptible, which does not mean it is any less real or disruptive. Change continues to occur. The challenge now is in how I respond to this new reality.
This is not unique to me, it happens to various organizations, ministries, communities in which we live. We all change, the key is to determine how to respond, if we are able to ask difficult questions and to adapt. It seems to me that if we are not willing or able to discern where we come from, where we are and where we want to be, we lose sight of the light and hope, the promise of being children of the resurrection.
May we stand together in our journey, respecting, listening and supporting each other and the diversity which offers us new possibilities to be especilaly when we are no longer who we once were.
God’s Peace and New Life…
Evita M. Krislock
Province VIII President
Episcopal Church Women