I was going through some of my mom’s papers today and I ran across this prayer. I don’t know where she got it or how often she looked at it, but I think it can speak to all of us as we grow older. A little internet research says it was written by Cary Grant. My mom loved Cary Grant and read a lot of Hollywood biographies, so that attribution makes sense to me. Here it is:
Now Lord, you’ve known me a long time. You know me better than I know myself. You know that each day I am growing older and someday may even be very old, so meanwhile please keep me from the habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.
Release me from trying to straighten out everyone’s affairs. Make me thoughtful, but not moody, helpful but not overbearing. I’ve a certain amount of knowledge to share; still it would be very nice to have a few friends who, at the end, recognized and forgave the knowledge I lacked.
Keep my tongue free from the recital of endless details. Seal my lips on my aches and pains: they increase daily and the need to speak of them becomes almost a compulsion. I ask for grace enough to listen to the retelling of others’ afflictions, and to be helped to endure them with patience.
I would like to have improved memory, but I’ll settle for growing humility and an ability to capitulate when my memory clashes with the memory of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that on some occasions I may be mistaken.
Keep me reasonably kind; I’ve never aspired to be a saint; saints must be rather difficult to live with. Yet on the other hand, an embittered old person is a constant burden.
Please give me the ability to see good in unlikely places and talents in unexpected people. And give me the grace to tell them so, dear Lord.
Now let’s go create something (like happy memories to cheer us in our old age)