Eldering

Difficult Times

Inspiration

Scroll down to find resources for this lifecycle moment. 

Prayer

A part of me Refuses to forgive Myself For my errors, my mistakes, My oversights and misdeeds. How can I redeem my life from inside This place of judgment, Of harsh words and Somber requirement? God of Old, God of Justice and Truth, Teach me to restore my life Through acts of love and kindness, Thoughtfulness and care, In support of my Family and community. Teach me to surrender my days To the joy of service to others, The joy of concern for this world And generations to come. Heavenly Guide, Revive me with Your light, Restore me with Your truth, Refresh me with deeds Of righteousness and charity. – Alden Solovy

Strengthen me, Holy One, on my journey through illness; Steady my steps on this difficult path. Bring me through signposts of remedies and therapies, Secure in Your guidance as I face these changes You are my Strength and my Hope, The Author of my healing. You are my Promise and my Courage, Guiding my helpers as I move toward healing. Guard the encouragement of simple improvements, Every day praising Your loving concern. Make me Your partner, Divine Physician, Restoring me for Your Name’s sake.

Text

Isaiah 46: 4 – 5

4 Even to your old age and gray hairs I am the One, I am the One who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
5 “With whom will you compare me or count me equal? To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?

Poem

Things shouldn’t be so hard
A life should leave
deep tracks:
ruts where she
went out and back
to get the mail
or move the hose
around the yard;
where she used to
stand before the sink,
a worn-out place;
beneath her hand
the china knobs
rubbed down to
white pastilles;
the switch she
used to feel for
in the dark
almost erased.
Her things should
keep her marks.
The passage
of a life should show;
it should abrade.
And when life stops,
a certain space—
however small—
should be left scarred
by the grand and
damaging parade.
Things shouldn’t
be so hard.

—Kay Ryan from The Niagara River by Kay Ryan, Copyright © 2005 by Kay Ryan.

Psalm

From Psalm 40

 

Steadfastly I have hoped for you, Yah;

You turned to me and heard my pleading.

You raised me up from the dark pit;

You saved me from sinking into quicksand.

You steadied my feet on a firm rock;

You prepared my steps.

You put a new song in my mouth:

Praise to You, our God.

 

Let the crowd see and show respect and also trust Yah;

Serene is the person who has put their trust in Yah

And didn’t turn to big shots and pretenders.

 

Countless miracles have you done Yah;

Your concern has been for our good.

I will still talk about You,

Even though it is beyond my capacity to express myself fully.

. . .

You, Yah, do not withhold Your compassion from me;

Always, always let Your truth be my protection.

. . .

I am poor, down and out;

Keep me in Your care.

You, my Savior, my Refuge, my God –

Don’t tarry now.

(translation by R’ Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l)

Song

Bridge over troubled water

Esai Einai, El HeHarim MeAyin Yaavo Ezri . . .

אֶשָּׂא עֵינַי, אֶל-הֶהָרִים– מֵאַיִן, יָבֹא עֶזְרִי

עֶזְרִי, מֵעִם יְהוָה– עֹשֵׂה, שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ.

I lift up my eyes, unto the mountains, from where, from where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth