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May the world be kind to you, and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself. - Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Aging With Grace by Dr. David Mokotoff

Aging With Grace
by Dr. David Mokotoff

I asked my office staff to pull the number of patients I had seen in the past year over the age of 90. I had assumed that maybe I had a couple dozen nonagenarians, but was stunned when the number came back at 81. And two of those were over the age of 100. The personality of these folks has always fascinated me, and I was looking for a common thread. Did they get to this age because of luck, clean living, great medical care, or good genetic background? In the end, I have concluded that it is largely serendipity. However, what I did learn in listening to them, two or three times a year, was mostly a non-complaining, victimless view of life. For the most part, they had aged with grace.

One man who I recently saw, age 95, responded to my question, “So how are you feeling?” with the following: “I have some aches and pains, you know, but at my age, everyday is a bonus.” This is an attitude that I rarely hear out of my patients in their seventh and eight decades.

Another delightful woman, who will turn 105 in October, has an intact mind and touch of humor. Every time I see her for during a semi-annual visit, her first words, given from a mischievous half-smile, are “Are you surprised that I’m still here?” In truth, I am not surprised, but stunned. With the degree of her heart disease, and by all objective parameters, she should have died ten years ago.

This solidified my belief that one never really knows when they will die. Several years, two of my colleagues died in their fifties during a horrific private plane crash in North Carolina. So when my very elderly patients ask, “Will I see you next time?” meaning “Will I live another six months?” I answer, “I don’t know if I will be here in another six months.” This places the value of living one day at a time in perspective for them.

It seems to me that for many of those lucky enough to reach 90, they appreciate life more than the rest of us. For the most part, they approach life with optimism, gratitude, and grace. Maybe this is why they got to this station in life after all.


  1. What a nice blog.

    To live beyond 90 is indeed a blessing.

  2. I really am trying to be aware of how blessed I am each and every day and to take a moment to soak it all in and give thanks. It is far too easy to grumble about the things we don't have and what is wrong with life. It only takes a brief moment to realize how much "good" I have going on everyday, and the realization brings a sense of peace.

  3. The older we get the more we appreciate life, simply becaue each passing day makes the remaining days more precious because there is less of them. The concept makes more sense in the light of understanding the constant rise in price of gold, diamond or any other rare material as their supply dwindles.
    Let us not forget the fact that this applies to those of us who live a healthy life and suffer the least from aches and pains associated with old age.
    Ali A. Parsa
    Mansfield, OH, USA

  4. well said and true for those who believe and have faith in a positive attitude towards life, irrespective of the circumstances, you are in. Change your attitude towards life and reap the benefits that come along. I appreciate this sight of yours for the daily inspiration it gives to all. Thanks a million.

  5. This the MOST amazing website I have come across and don't even remember how I first discovered it...I have been in a constant state of change and prayer for about a year. I cannot count the number of times I have followed different links only to find more and more helpful information...AND IT IS FREE!!!!!

    Your articles and quotes have been an answer to prayer and THANKS is offered each day for you and those you work with to provide this site.

  6. Yes, age gracefully, an art viewed with beauty in the eyes of the beholder, and with a grateful heart, giving thanks to God. Peace to all.

  7. life is the most precious gift from above. a blessing that should be given much gratitude. it is love that makes it possible. god is love and love is god. we must never stop loving to keep the heart young and vibrant.

  8. i agree that love is all that makes life beautiful. love is given from above to be accepted and savoured no matter how late it is. it is a blessing not given to all.

  9. i thank god for my life and everything that makes me the person that i should be. i am not a perfect person at all but i try my best to give my best in whatever way i can....
    god has plans for me which i do not know anything about. all i know is he cares for me everyday that i can be strong and able to stand the tests of time. that, i am a different person to keep me alive and looking forward for more of god's blessings.
    the feeling of being loved and to love is the most important and significant things i am so grateful about.
    god knows how i love...it runs deep and i deeply wanted more of it. my heart yearns for love. a love that fills me with all the joy and contentment i desired most in my entire life.
    may he grant me the grace to keep me in love, for it is the core of my well being. without it i feel lost and abandoned. so, help me god.


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