Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A Poem About Growing Old

During our services this past Sunday I explained how difficult a week it had been for me personally. I know that I am still relatively young (47), but growing old hit me like a ton of bricks. I endured a very painful shoulder surgery that had been needed for at least five years, had been informed by my eye doctor that there were a couple of developing cataracts in my eyes, realized there was an incredible amount of gray hair in the goatee I was attempting to grow, and received an invitation to prepay my funeral expenses so as not to put any strain on my loved ones when the time came--all this past week. I was really depressed Friday when I received a poem over my Blackberry, written and emailed to me by my father. The poem made me laugh and brought me a little encouragment to see aging as just a matter of the mind! I read the poem in the introduction to my message, and the people of Emmanuel must have liked it too since there were more requests for the poem than my sermon outline!

Questions About Aging

Who was the culprit that slipped in last night
And stole my strength as well as my sight?

I'd also like to know does anyone but me care
That I have finally lost all my always thin hair?

Why is it when I deliberately put something safely away,
I forget where it is and wherever it is it will forever stay?

Am I finally becoming a world class wimp?
Because while I used to run a lot I now only limp.

I admit to slightly less of my cherished virility?
But does that have to signal a loss of every other ability?

Why is it at church I see someone and have a chat,
But then while walking away have to ask my wife "who was that?

Are all who read this going to laugh until they choke?
Well from this side of age they need to know it is no joke.

Enough questions about growing old and now for a conclusion.
Age is really a state of mind anyway is my simple solution.

So I'm handsome, erudite, and besides that a whole lot of fun.
And anyone who doesn't think so can kiss my good looking left bun.

By Paul Burleson

For further samples from this budding poet, see his writings at the blog vtmbottomline.


Ramesh said...

VTMBottomline [Paul Burleson] > POETRY IN MOTION.

Also, if you watch the video, of Pastor Wade's sermon last Sunday, it's titled "Love Does Not Seek It's Own", 1 Cor. 13:5, Part 9 of series Nov 1, 09.

Some interesting insights in the sermon.

Denn said...


Mary Burleson said...


Ken Coffee said...

Your dad and I are the same age. The best advice I ever got when complaining about getting old was from my wife. She said, "Get over it!"

Paul Burleson said...


Lesson learned...Dad's derriere doeth not a discussion deliver. ;)

[Ken's wife is correct.]

Denn said...

Paul, I was willing, but then I've always been in the minority.

Paul Burleson said...


That's funny.

wadeburleson.org said...

Of all comment sections in the history of this blog with nearly 1,000 posts logged, this is the only one which has caused me to blush. :)


P.S. This color of red on my face, however, feels better than the usual color of red I get when I read some comments.


Christiane said...


I laughed at the poem of your father. It was, shall we say, 'a breath of fresh air'.

I love poetry about aging that 'celebrates life', and I hope your father rides his motorcycle as long as the Lord allows him.

A favorite poem of mine was written by Jenny Joseph and is entitled "Warning". I do not know for sure, but I suspect that it is behind the 'Red Hat Society'.

Here is a part of Ms. Joseph's poem:

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens "

We all know those 'red-hat' ladies can kick up their heels, God Bless 'em.
In the season of fall, may we all go out and celebrate with joy, before the coming of the winter. Life is good. :)

Loved your sermon, Wade. As always, a blessing for many.

Caritas Christi,

Rex Ray said...

47 – Huh? That’s the age I would walk from the field to the dugout because I was too tired to jog.

Long story short after 3 months of vitamins and NOT eating any white or brown sugar (ice-cream, ketchup, pie etc) and without any practice, I ran a 6’30” mile.

I felt so good I told my wife I was going to run the White Rock Marathon with no practice the following week, and that would prove nutrition would help anyone.

She responded: “All it’s going to prove is you’re crazy.”

Sure nuff, I was so sore I couldn’t go to work for 3 days, but it did inspire my first of two poems in my life:

A runner without a message or purpose
Is one that will not finish the race.
A runner with good news to tell
Will endure pain; regardless the pace.

With no practice he set out to show
What can be done without the sweets of life.
A message of ‘no sugar’ on his shirt had faded,
But not the message in his heart to his wife.

Why did he hurt that 26 miles?
Was it just to be seen?
Was it ambition and pride?
Or only a plea to you and me?

Today, 40 years later, the doctor convinced my wife that where we reside was not a dormitory, but was our house. Belle said she was sorry she had been angry with me for not taking her home.

Lydia said...

My step dad was complaining the other day, after blowing leaves, that he was just could not understand why he was slowing down so much and getting tired so easily.

He turns 90 in a month.

:0) (They really ARE the greatest generation)

Gram said...

....and there is only ONE alternative to growing old.....:)

Rex Ray said...

30 years later

Only had a minor in math. :)

Lydia, you’re right, my uncle cut down a 3 ft. Dia. Bois D’Arc tree with an axe when he was 85.

Pege` said...

Wade, I am so sorry you had such a difficult week. Recovery from surgery can be a challenge. It is good that you finally had that shoulder taken care of and after Physical Therapy you will feel wonderful again. Aging is a challenge for me to. I have had to focus on what I can do instead of what I cannot. When I am weak God is strong is my verse for "47". I want to live in weakness if that means God is strongest. I LOVE being 47!! OLD....It is a state of mind
Take Good care and listen to Nurse Rachelle!!
Praying for your full healing.

Gene Prescott said...

Y'all really need to visit:


Visit all of the Healthy Links in the right side bar, do a couple of the Line Dances (right side bar again), and at your leisure read the posted articles.