Facing The Future With Grit & Grace

Grit and Grace

The passing years whisper warnings of memory loss, a thief threatening to steal my understanding of time itself. Vonnegut’s words echo, “unstuck in time,” a fate I refuse. Each book demands context, each grandchild a cherished memory, not just a face. The fear of valuing things but not experiences chill me.

At 80, I realized I was playing with borrowed time. Men, on average (2021), reach 73.5, women 79.3. At 83, I savor each sunrise, a gift beyond the norm. My father, a master of chores, used to say, “Rest at the end, not in the middle.” Heed his words, and here I am, enjoying the “end.”

But what now? Comfort without thought? That feels unfair, a penalty for a sin I never committed. Why must dementia loom as I rest? When, or if, it comes, I’ll fight it like an alligator with a Viagra boost, refusing to surrender to oblivion.

Taylor Swift’s “Mirrorball” speaks of effort, not natural talent. I wasn’t a natural at much, except maybe youthful sports (though that fades in adulthood). Perhaps a “natural” father and husband describe me, though my first wife might disagree on the “husband” part!

The point is that we face age’s challenges, dementia included, with grit and grace. We deal with them, striving for unrestricted lives. My retirement community shows the impact of illness, motivating me to stay active (except Sundays, gotta rest!). Has it worked? The future holds the answer. But one thing’s sure: I’ll shake, rattle, and roll until the end 😊.


  1. JoAnn Hale on February 24, 2024 at 7:17 pm

    Oh Dad, you brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat with this one. Hauntingly beautiful. Love you dearly. ❤️

  2. Debby on February 25, 2024 at 5:16 pm

    You never have to doubt that you’ve been a great father and husband. Mom would so agree. I feel certain that you don’t need to worry about Dementia. You will always have me and Jerilyn so you’re always going to be good. I love you, Dad.

  3. frank shortt on February 26, 2024 at 7:46 pm

    Tommy, lets live every day to the fullest! Read some, work a little, smell the flowers and rest as much as possible!
    When the Master calls, That’s all!

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