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Look through the lens

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

This is my story of finding hope for the hopeless, including myself. We all have special memories and have saved photographs of laughter, family and friends who help define our lives. This new season in my life is considered old age by some. I have moved, gracefully at times; other times, I stumble and trip through life! There are life's uncertainties but there are also many victories.

People's stories are connected, and perhaps our stories will merge. So, how can we recognize and value the experiences of older people? On a personal level, we need to recognize the contributions of the entire community, this includes the elderly, and most certainly means taking care of their lives. It's out of balance when we focus attention on the few who seem to be able to carry the burdens of the world on their shoulders. What about the needed attention for people like my sister, who took her own life fighting a system which doesn't work? Depression is like a bottomless pit of despair.

My husband always says, "I have my head in the sand like an ostrich" I wonder, at times, if he's right. Maybe others are wearing rose-coloured glasses, or perhaps I am? Fighting a flawed system can be challenging, especially for seniors. Writing helps me and is a good way to keep my mind active as I fight what seems like an invisible beast.

Many Canadians are facing increasing financial burdens to get the health care we need, and rightfully deserve. The longer we don't pay attention the harder it is to ever pay attention.

Many caregivers are spending out of pocket, to care for their loved ones (the ones who can afford to), and the cost is expected to rise. I own a small home in the country, and I am able to dress, travel to appointments with a vehicle I own, breathe on my own, and am not depending on lifesaving medications, although they are often denied to many. It's a system where the Doctor is even questioned and claims are denied. I truly believe the big invisible beast is trying to kill and eliminate as many as possible. Why it has this appetite I don't know.

After covid-19, it came out how much of the older population was treated. However, the system was failing long before that, in regards to many who are and continue to suffer from mental health issues or frail health, like my husband. The lack of any tangible help for him prods him to feel the end is in sight; and he has no more fight left.

I want to celebrate life with my husband for many years to come. How can I move forward in life if I don't speak out?

Many are denied claims, as their lives seem to have never mattered. What's the answer? Is it involving human rights organizations to fight discrimination against the elderly, the chronically ill, or individuals who can't stand up against this discrimination? Depression can result from repeated bad situations. Some wounds are deeper than a cut which bleeds. How can I make a difference for others when I can't even help myself?

I wrote on my Facebook page last month, "I need this pain to be purposeful, to understand it.”

James 1:2-4 is a favourite of mine, which says, “My friends, consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” GNB

Yet, it's hard to understand suffering when you need something concrete to hold onto.

Still, in James 1:5-8, it says, “Do any of you need wisdom? Ask God for it. He is generous and enjoys giving to everyone. So he will give you wisdom. But when you ask God, you must believe. Don't doubt him. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is blown up and down by the wind.” ERV

It goes on in verses 7-8, “for do not let that man suppose that he will receive anything from the LORD — a soul-split man [person] [is] unstable in all his ways.” LSV

Verse 14 explains where this struggle, this double-mindedness comes from, “We are tempted by our own desires that drag us off and trap us.” CEV

My husband feels the government calls the older generation, the frail and those who have mental health issues, "useless eaters." Many think I am joking when I say, we may be eating cat food with our crackers: this, due to a failing system, where many individuals do not seem to matter.

Maybe I am wearing rose-coloured glasses after all because James 1:12 shows the purpose in it all. “Blessed is he [the one] who patiently endures trials; for when he has stood the test, he will gain the victor's crown--even the crown of Life--which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” WNT

Despite circumstances, I continue to believe hope is happening behind the scenes, in our faithfulness in Christ. He entered a weary world and revealed the heart and purpose of a God who never fails us. I continue to step forward in faith.

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