Life On Your Own Terms

Six days, six doctors. That’s what Aunt Beryl’s life has become. She’s an old lady but don’t ever let her hear you say it. She’s fighting the clock and hanging on to every dribble of life lubricating estrogen. Her eighty-seventh birthday was last week. She wore stilettos. They weren’t Carrie Bradshaw tall, but still, Beryl tottered around on 2-inch spikes because you never where flats to the opera.

Beryl thinks the doctors will find out why she is tired all the time and cure it. Every medical professional tells her the same thing: You’re healthy, just getting older that’s all. She won’t accept it. So her and her Medicare card make the rounds to specialists, generalists, and any other “-ist” who could possibly hold the secret elixir.


Her niece Willa is a Presbyterian minister. She’s been trying to convince Aunt Beryl to join her at church sometime. Eighty-some years spent in complete bewilderment of how perfectly sane people could fall for “religious hooey” has given her the resolve to say, no thanks.

But she did mention a little something about her spiritual life the other day. She told Willa she’s not afraid of death. She’s scared sh#tless (her word exactly) of being sick. That’s why her day job now consists of doctor visits.

Aunt Beryl fights for her lifestyle, not her life. Somehow she has an inner calm regarding eternity that many people of faith would envy. Pray for Beryl and all the other older folks who don’t do their own praying, but could use a few of yours.

– Prayables

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