I rang the doorbell and she opened the door, dressed in leggings and a t-shirt, looking as fit as can be. Rock music was playing in the background. She welcomed me in and danced over to the kitchen counter to turn off the music. She was smiling and radiant, giggling at how I had caught her in the midst of jamming to her favorite songs. The woman was 89 years old.
As we sat and had coffee, she told me of the terminal illness her husband was experiencing and how he was slowly dying in the nursing home. She talked of it calmly, sharing with me the wonderful life they’d had together. She also talked about some of the struggles, so I knew her life had not been an easy road. In this sharing, I sensed a deep faith. She laughed when we talked about her future. Over and over she said, “Well I am not going to be around that much longer,” but she seemed to have peace about that fact. I knew she could run circles around me and she would be active for quite a while. It wasn’t until several meetings later, that she told me specifically of her faith in Jesus Christ.
Contrast that meeting with an invitation I received to have dinner with another elderly woman. She had health issues, and she complained of her circumstances and shared with me the disappointments of her life. I knew she had not cared well for her body during her lifetime, and it had obviously caught up with her. I also knew that some of the health concerns were out of her control. She looked at the end of her life as a scary time. I knew she had been involved in church over the years, but it seemed it was more of a community gathering place rather than worship time with her Lord and Savior.
As I left that dinner, the difference between these two women struck me. They were similar in age, but each held a very different view of her life and future. One had a faith that positively affected her daily attitude and care of her body, while the other was angry at all that was lost and a future that seemed hopeless. I knew in that moment which woman I want to be like at the end of my life… active, full of joy, and with faith that drives my attitudes and actions.
Maybe we should all consider whether or not we are currently on the right path towards that type of end-of-life goal.
Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this.”
Kristi L. Andersen is the principal of Kristi L. Financial Partners, LLC. (www.KristiLAndersen.com) Securities offered through and Registered Representative of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Some Advisory services offered through AdvisorNet Financial. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.