As I grow older and watch as my children grow to adulthood, I have a great appreciation for those that know how to handle themselves in these situations. Here is a prayer by Dale Evans, the wife of Roy Rogers, a woman who loved Jesus with all her heart, that expresses what I pray I can become.
Lord, thou knowest better than I know myself, that I’m growing older, and will someday be old. Keep me from getting too talkative; particularly from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Deliver me from the need to try and straighten out everybody’s affairs. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. I ask for grace to listen to the tales of others’ pains; but seal my lips when it comes to my own aches and pains, for they are increasing and my love of rehearsing them gets sweeter as the years go by. I ask not for improved memory, but for a growing humility and less cocksureness, especially when my memory seems to clash with the memory of others. Teach me that occasionally I may be mistaken. Keep me reasonably sweet. I don’t necessarily want to be a saint – some of them are so hard to live with. But a sour old woman (or man) is one of the crowning works of the devil. Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it; but Thou knowest Lord, I want a few friends at the end. So give me, I pray, the ability to see blessings in unexpected trials and goodness in less-than-perfect people. And give me the grace to tell them so, In Christ’s name, amen.