Recently on a visit with a friend who lives at a very nice senior residence, I joined her and others for a few games of Bingo.
The first game was fun. The second game was less interesting. The third, well, I tried to stay awake.
The volunteer was wonderful, spending her time to help these folks keep their minds sharp and their hands busy. The remarks, actions and glances around the table revealed how close these residents have gotten – knowing each other’s quirks and trying to balance the needs of others and their own momentary feelings. Without sharing details of those who I have not been given permission to comment about, let us just say that it was like being a visitor at a table of siblings, or at least, close cousins.
It was rather fascinating to see a community at work, yet soon I began to feel extremely out-of-place. No, I wasn’t out-of-place. I was welcome and comfortable, being provided hospitality and in my element of returning the favor.
Part of me just didn’t want to be there.
I help with funerals. I pray with people in hospice. I listen to those asking why they are still alive at their age.
I can handle that.
But, Bingo? No!
I’m in my 30’s. I don’t have a problem looking at death, but I do have a problem looking at a future of Bingo.
Well, not Bingo exactly.
Rather, the limitations that come with age.
Some day I will no longer have the option to walk around the neighborhood. I will no longer have the option to go kayaking. I will no longer have the option to read a 400-page book with normal sized print.
When the time comes, I will probably enjoy bingo just as those folks were.
But for now, a healthy dread of Bingo will keep me going. Keep me focusing on the present, on being active, on taking risks, and on acting on impulses.
For now, Bingo will help me remember to play with my kids and enjoy even the daily physical requirements of an active life.
God, help me to live in the present moment for tomorrow brings uncertainty, but also the certainty of limitation. Amen.