'Vision' becomes better with age Print
Grand Mom
Thursday, Jul. 19, 2012 -- 12:00 AM

Grand Mom column by Audrey Mettel Fixmer

One of the benefits of aging is that our vision improves so much.

What? You say you have more trouble reading the fine print on prescription bottles? And you need stronger light bulbs and magnifying glasses?

Oh, sure, but that’s not the kind of vision I’m thinking about. I’m thinking of hindsight. You know, they always say that hindsight is 20-20.

So here’s what’s so great about it. We have perspective now. We can look back at the things that drove us crazy with worry, like a messy house when guests arrived. But now we know that it was never the picture-perfect house that mattered, but the warmth of our hospitality.

Giving our kids all that “stuff” didn’t matter, but the time we gave them surely did. Now we don’t judge people solely by their physical beauty; we “see” the beauty inside. We don’t just see the trees; we see the whole wonderful forest.

A clearer picture

In our old age we finally get the picture.

We have perspective. Now we are acutely aware that things are not important, the things we worked so hard to acquire and then to clean, dust, wash, polish, launder . . . those are just material things that eventually become a burden.

Now we must downsize, dispose of them, pass them down to the kids (if they want them), or donate them to charity. Burden lifted; sigh of relief.

If we were blessed to grow up in a faith-filled family, or at least found faith somewhere along the way, we know about the Ten Commandments. “Honor your father and mother; love your neighbor as yourself; don’t covet your neighbor’s wife . . .” What may have seemed a lot of difficult restrictions in our youth we now realize are actually the recipe for a good life that ends in a happy old age. The elderly who respect their caregivers will get better treatment.

Seeing beyond imperfections

One of my daughters teaches in a beauty school, and as she was cutting my hair the other day, I told her about the subject I was writing on this month: improved vision as we age.

She chuckled. “Mom,” she said, “when I talk to my students about the changes in aging skin, the enlarged pores, and the wrinkles, I always tell them what you say, that it’s okay because with your fading eyesight you can’t see them anyway.”

And that’s the wisdom of God’s plan. And the mercy!

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