Aging Poem

Dealing With Growing Old

I never thought I would, but since I turned 60, I have been struggling with growing old and all the emotions that entails.

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Pat's poems are so unique yet universal, written from the heart and able to capture the feelings of those who read them. I have been through a long period of caring for a relative. During...

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I Still Matter

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Published: September 2017

I'M STILL HERE

My looks are nothing special,
My face reveals my age,
My body shows some wear and tear,
And my energy's not the same.

Too often my memory fails me,
And I lose things all the time.
One minute I know what I plan to do,
And the next it may just slip my mind.

I try hard to avoid my mirror.
There are things I would rather not see,
And even those times when I just catch a glimpse,
I no longer can recognize me.

The things I used to do with ease
Can now cause aches and pains,
And the quality of the things I do
Will never quite be the same.

I always compare my older self,
To those younger versions of me,
And I know I'm wasting too much time
Missing who I used to be.

But the thing that really makes me sad
Is despite what people see,
Underneath my tattered, worn out shell,
I'm still the same old me.

My heart can still feel endless love,
And at times it still can ache.
My heart can fill with so much joy,
And then it can suddenly break.

My soul can still feel sympathy
And longs for forgiveness and peace,
And there are times its light shines boldly through,
And times when it longs for release.

It's true, maybe now that I'm older,
Feeling lonely may be status quo,
But it also has made me more willing
To forgive and let past conflicts go.

So maybe to some I look ugly and old,
A person who barely exists.
I'm still quite aware of the beauty inside,
And my value should not be dismissed.

So although not as strong and no beauty, it's true,
I'm still here and want so much to live,
And I know that there's no one in this world quite like me,
And no one who has more to give.

more by Pat A. Fleming

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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • by Sylvia Sellars
  • 5 months ago

Pat's poems are so unique yet universal, written from the heart and able to capture the feelings of those who read them. I have been through a long period of caring for a relative. During this time, I have lost myself and I am struggling to find where I can fit in following the funeral and tying up the loose ends. I find so much comfort from the words and spend time contemplating their message, which always manage to lift my spirits and give me hope that soon everything will be okay. Thank you so much, Pat. Maybe in the future I will be able to find the words to offer others following a loved one's passing.

  • by James Arel
  • 8 months ago

This poem touched my heart very strongly. I have always worked hard all my life, supporting my beautiful wife and 4 great and beautiful children. Then one day my life changed. I got old. I couldn't work anymore and too many parts of my body were giving out, causing a lot of pain with hospitalization.
One day, my wife of 36 years, who was getting younger looking with her addiction to running, came home one holiday after another race and told me she did not want to be married anymore. She had no reason for me. My world came to an end. Everything I did in my life, I did for her. Now I needed help, but I had gotten to old, to ugly. Now there's no point to life. The worst pain is my broken heart.

  • by Catherine Burke
  • 1 month ago

James, I am new to this site and have just seen your post. I hope that life is getting better for you. It can be a cruel world sometimes. Please continue to have faith. There are so many good people in the world. I hope you have the support you need.

  • by NatureLover
  • 8 months ago

James,
Your post made me hurt for you. Please don't let someone else forgetting the importance of a vow prevent you from continuing to shine! From your writing, you have a lot of love to share with the world and your children. Only a heart full of love can feel such pain.
You don't say much regarding the timing of your life changes, but as soon as you can, get out and look for people to help. It can be little things, but they bring the remembrance of purpose back to your life. For example, a single parent at our church needs diapers, so people take turns purchasing them. I hope you find peace and acceptance in your continued journey.

  • by Pat A. Fleming, Trenton, NJ Poet
  • 8 months ago

I am so sorry for what you have been through, but your wife's need to go in another direction does not diminish who you are and what you have to offer as a person. Getting old stinks, but desperately trying to keep the inevitable from happening is a tiresome and fruitless effort. Let your wife do that. You accept who you are and be proud of who you are because of your age. You gave the world 4 wonderful human beings, and that is no easy task. Let your wife go and maintain the dignity of what your experience in life has given you. Don't be angry or bitter. We've been through enough. It's time to give ourselves the right to relax and let it all go. That's a good thing!

  • by NatureLover
  • 9 months ago

I would like to tell you that your poem touched my heart. I have been interested in learning from older individuals throughout my career as a physical therapist. I recently returned to school (online) in my mid-50's to work toward achieving my Doctorate. I have been happily married for many years, but like you, I have no children. It is true that what is inside of us is significant and beautiful. Every soul has much to give. Thank you for sharing your gift of writing poetry.

  • by Pat A. Fleming, Trenton, NJ Poet
  • 8 months ago

Thank you so much for your kind comment about my poem. It means so much to me that you could identify with my words. I am extremely impressed with your goals for yourself at this point in your life. You are my hero. Good luck in all you do.

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