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OUT TO PASTOR: These old bones of mine

I had a frightening experience the other day. I know I must be getting old because things that never frightened me before frighten me. I also see things I never saw before.

Going into the bathroom one morning, I looked in the mirror, and my grandfather looked back at me. I almost passed out. With great haste, I left the bathroom, rushed to the living room, and sat down to think a little bit.

What just happened?

I hadn’t thought of my grandfather for a long time, and now here I am, looking at myself in the mirror and seeing my grandfather. Oh boy. How did he get in my mirror?

I knew my grandfather was old, at least from my perspective when I knew him. One thing I remember about him was how much he complained about his bones. You could hear his knees crack whenever he would get up from a chair. I never could understand that.

At the time, I thought he was putting on a show. I never had my bones crack, nor did they ever hurt. So, I thought my dear old grandfather was trying to get pity from us, so I lavished it on as much as possible.

The last two years that I knew him, he walked around with a cane. I thought he was just doing that for dressing. I thought he was acting like Bat Masterson; “He wore a cane and derby hat.”

Several times, I asked him where his “derby hat” was. He just looked at me as though he had no idea what I was saying. So, being the grandson that I was, I went on with his ploy.

Not until recently did I discover that this was not a ploy; rather, he had aching and creaking bones.

It seems that I have inherited his creaking bones. Now I know what he was going through back then, and it wasn’t a ploy.

It seems every day, I find a new bone to creak. I will never know how my grandfather handled those creaking bones at his age, but I’m starting to find out. I guess I should’ve taken him more seriously back then.

I have no idea how many bones I have in my body, but I am discovering new bones that are starting to creak daily. I didn’t know I had so many bones.

After thinking about my grandfather and his creaking bones, I went back into the bathroom to chat with him, but instead of him being in the mirror, there I was. I am my grandfather!

My grandfather was 69 years old when he passed, and I am, let’s say, a little past that age.

Instead of inheriting creaking bones from my grandfather, I would rather have inherited $1 million. But life is as it is. I don’t know how long I have yet before my old bag of bones exhausts itself. Till then, I will creak and crack my bones every day, just like my grandfather.

That may be why people have rather short memories when they get older. Boy, would I like to forget these creaking bones of mine. When I think I have it all worked out, another bone pops and then starts creaking.

I don’t know how close I am to getting a cane, but it just might be in the near future.

Of course, having a cane would be more helpful when walking down the street to protect me from some idiot who wants to rob me. So I’ve been thinking about that.

If it were just creaking bones, I wouldn’t be too concerned. But looking in the mirror this morning caused me to see that old age is really ugly. I have more wrinkles than I can count on my face. Where do those wrinkles come from? What are they there, and how do I get rid of them?

I should start counting my wrinkles every morning to ensure I have the same amount from the day before. Of course, there must be some good to these wrinkles, or I wouldn’t have so many.

I think I have become the standard for old age with my musical bones and flourishing wrinkles. I sure could use some advice from my grandfather about this situation.

With that in mind, I went to The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and told her I thought I needed to go to a body shop to see if I could get a new body. “Do you have any recommendations?”

She looked at me up and down and then said, “Just remember, it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.” And then she laughed as though it was funny.

Later that day, I checked my Bible for verses dealing with bones, but I had never thought of these verses before.

Psalms 51:8, “Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.”

Psalms 34:20, “He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.”

I am a proponent of joy, but I never thought of bones being associated with joy. As I get older, I am discovering just how important my bones are. From now on, whenever one of my bones creaks, I will rejoice to know that God keeps all my bones.

Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone is (352) 216-3025, e-mail is, and website is

Ellis County Press

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