Coming to Terms with My Life

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These five stages of grief are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Acceptance turns to nostalgia

as I turn 75 tomorrow

Another year added to a long

interesting life

There is a sense of grief at this age

looking back and looking forward

Grief for the loss of what once was

realizing change is inevitable

Watching the next generation

moving on without you

Knowing someday, they too

will look back wishing

they had asked more questions

of the living

The future is a bit unsettling as

control may be forfeited

to someone else’s care

I pray that will not happen

I have wrestled with God

Argued with him threatened him

and been angry with him

At this point in life I have made

my peace with God and eternity

Some things are better left unknown

The subtle losses seem to hurt the most

There is anger at the changes that

occur in our physical bodies

The ringing in the ears, the loss of hearing

All that extra weight that comes on slowly

The medical field has no sensitivity

to body shaming, calling me obese

How is that any different than saying

you’re fat

Yet I am thankful I can still function

slower and with less energy but still going

Joints and muscles ache more at this age

but still remain relatively strong

My life’s work has been traded for

a more sedentary style of living

I look back and dream of what once was

Knowing memories are all we have

I listen to the old songs and relish

the pleasure of visions they hold

But joy comes in the grandchildren

so full of life and possibilities

I pray that they will find the strength

to face the realities of a changing world

and still show love and compassion

for those around them

It has been a long life and this, a long poem

So I think it is best to stop here.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Lisa asked us to consider the five stages of grief and choose one to write our poem. Since tomorrow is my 75th birthday I chose to write about acceptance. I have kicked and screamed, so to speak, throughout my life. I still grumble and complain about the changes taking place, but for the most part I feel like I have made my peace with my life and am in a place of acceptance. Letting go is very difficult, but in reality we never really have control in this life.

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131 thoughts on “Coming to Terms with My Life

  1. Thank you for your heartfelt poem. So much poignant truth, so much I resonate with, so much life lived….. So much to feel, so much to remember and so very much to learn to let go of…. Thank you again. And happy birthday to you!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. So moved by your reflection, Dwight. I think you’ve skipped over something, though. The many lives your words have touched and continue to shape. The way your kindness has rippled out into the world, and all the minds you’ve opened and changed through your teaching, effects behind measure, and they continue to multiple. Blessings to you. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Although I’m not quite your age yet, Dwight, I kept knodding when reading your lines. Yes – the physical body is slowly decaying, yes – there is more time behind one then ahead, yes – it’s not easy to let go of the past and the people that have slipped out of (ones) life. And yes – being able to make peace with ones life is perhaps the most important thing one can do. I wish you a very happy 75th birthday!

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Happy Birthday, Dwight! Have a wonderful day full of laughter, good food, family, friends, flowers, and sunshine! You are an inspiration, and your creative posts are a treat for me. This poem is a masterpiece! ✨

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Happy 75th Dwight. I was 72 in February. You got here before me 😊

    “realizing change is inevitable” – this line resonates so well the choice to acceptance.


    Liked by 4 people

  6. Happy 75th birthday, Dwight! I am so sorry for the body shaming you have experienced. It is so hard when our body prevents us from being as active as we once were. I recognize that anger and frustration you mention.

    Praise God we have such a compassionate advocate, who gently meets us in our losses to reveal the beauty of His Spirit unfolding in us right there. I am so blessed by the fruit of gentleness that pours out of the poems and paintings you share here – surely those surrenders are reaping bountiful and abiding fruit in you (and in others through you).

    May God continue to comfort you in those places of earthly surrender He is leading you through, reassuring your heart, mind, body and soul. Sounds like your grandkids are already His soothing balm to you in this place. May God multiply your joy through them today.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you, Anna, for you kind and compassionate comments. We do mellow with age it seems. I have tried to channel my frustrations with change into other creative paths that work for me. I am glad you appreciate my efforts.


    • Thank you so much, Chuck for your kind affirmation. I am glad it resonated with you. So many mixed feelings arise at this age. I am glad to be blessed with good health and still able to function fairly well.


  7. An eloquent reflective poem, Dwight. ❤ I wish you a joyful birthday celebrated with family and friends. I admire your very full life among flowers and wildlife, writing beautiful poems, creating music and art, and serving your community. Whatever happens in the future, you can take satisfaction in a life well-lived and savor your memories. I am not far behind you, and I have similar hopes for myself. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Happy Birthday Dwight.
    Your poem speaks volumes to a life well lived so honestly and reflective of the joys and pains of living. Such a rich tapestry you’ve woven with family and loved ones and a legacy of faith, hope and love.

    I love this ” I have wrestled with God
    Argued with him threatened him
    and been angry with him”
    At this point in life I have made
    my peace with God and eternity

    You are young by all stretch of the means to me andresilientt and always staying present to the moment and the gifts.

    Enjoy every minute!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, my friend! Life has been interesting to say the least! Sometimes not so much fun, but here I am at 75! Who would have thought? The end of life is the time to make peace with yourself and accept what can’t be changed! I appreciate your ongoing friendship and affirmation.


  9. Happy 75th Birthday Dwight! I think you should write about your five stages of joy! I’m sure that list is a lot longer than the stages of grief. Besides, you are a person who brings joy to so many my friend!!! 🥳🥂🎈🎆✨🎁🎂🤗💖 Have a FANtabulous day! 🌞🦋😊

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I understand the internal struggle… and in my case a growing anxiety of how fast life has moved/is moving. You’ve found one of the best ways to conquer this… God and family!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Thanks, Dwight. Great poem–honest and provocative. Since I just turned sixty and lost my husband a few years ago, I can relate completely. When I look back, my memories comfort (and sometimes disturb) me. When I look ahead, the journey gets shorter and shorter. All of this reminds me that every moment has to count, and I need to grab life with both hands.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Pingback: Coming to Terms with My Life – apriljphotoz

  13. Hello my dear friend your post reminds me of another post I read on the blog today where a friend of mine was going through similar emotions on turning 70. All the lives you’ve touched and all the ways you’ve changed the world, is tangible and will always matter even many decades later. As its said, 70 is the new 50, you still have miles to go!😊

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Happy Birthday, Dwight! I am two years behind you, and trying to let go of the control factor, which I don’t have anyway. A good friend told me that the worst thing to do is think about what your expectations were, instead of enjoying what it.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. “I have made my peace with my life and am in a place of acceptance. Letting go is very difficult, but in reality we never really have control in this life” This made me 😭😢 alongside the others. It’s so true letting go is very difficult

    Liked by 2 people

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