Grow Old with Me …
You probably know the rest … the Best is Yet to Be. You may even know that the phrase is the first line of a poem by Robert Browning with the unlikely title of Rabbi Ben Ezra, a poem that is more philosophical and less romantic than the opening line suggests. You may know that a song of the same name … loosely based on Browning’s poem … was one of John Lennon’s last compositions. Does it seem possible that the man who wrote Imagine wrote these lyrics?
Grow old along with me
The best is yet to be
When our time has come
We will be as one
God bless our love
God bless our love
Maybe you’ve been at a wedding when the band played Mary Chapin Carpenter’s lovely version for the bride-groom dance.
If you’ve been coming around here for a while, you’ve probably figured out that I am an aging realist. Perhaps more than most men my age, I appreciate the positive of reaching my seventies with remarkable energy (for an old goat) and with a profound sense of gratitude. But I am also the first to admit that aging is not for the weak of heart. More than once, I’ve asserted that Sixty is the New Forty (and its corollary, Seventy is the New Fifty) is but the hopeful expression of a forty year old contemplating feeling older for the first time. And I readily admit that You’re only as old as you feel isn’t always a good thing. So what the heck is a confirmed curmudgeon doing posted about the best being yet to be?
It turns out that it is a favorite saying of my wife, Muri, and I. It illuminates a sign over our bedroom door and it is featured on a blanket I gave her for our 48th anniversary.
It is particularly apropos right now, during a time when unresolved medical issues would seem to belie the our motto’s spirit. But that is exactly the point … there is nothing quite like fifty years of shared experience to carry us through the good times, the bad times and the times unknown. The best that is yet to be isn’t about always happy, and it isn’t about easy. It’s a about being side by side after all these years and the joy that brings, regardless of what is around the next corner. At my age, that’s the best kind of best.