Lessons from a 93 Year Old

Carolyn at Beauty Beyond Bones recently wrote about an encounter with an old man at church. He arrived late, sat next to her, and created a fuss while trying to settle in and get caught up with the service. Carolyn helped him, but was unhappy that he had intruded and fearful that others might associate him with her. Things turned around for her, as you’ll see when you read the post. There is an innocence and guilelessness about the elderly that enables them to be an icon, a window into the nature of God. I hope that, should I become an old, befuddled man some day, I can be the sort of blessing to others that this old man was to Carolyn.


I had one of those experiences last night that’s going to stick with me for a long time.

Sunday night. 7:30pm. And I was going to a church I had never been to.

I moseyed in the back and found a seat in the second-to-last row, just off the aisle.

Mass started. We were about 15 minutes in, and the priest was giving the homily.

And this old man hobbled in. He was at least 90, hunched over his cane, shuffling along. And he plopped down right next to me.

Now, how can I put this delicately…his entrance was not…shall we say…discrete.


As an elderly gentleman, his hearing was obviously going, because what he thought were whispers, actually were yells.

Is someone sitting here!? What day is it!? September 4? What’s the page number?

Now, if you’ve never been to Catholic mass, disruptions are…rare and…unwelcome.

People were looking back…

View original post 745 more words

About Bob Ritzema

I am a fourth-generation American of Dutch ancestry and am trained as a clinical psychologist. In 2012, I retired from Methodist University in North Carolina to return to . Michigan to help family, and, in 2023, I started again with a move to Milwaukee to be near my children. I maintain a part-time therapy practice. I can be reached at bobritzema@hotmail.com.
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2 Responses to Lessons from a 93 Year Old

  1. Thank you so much for the reblog and for your thoughtful reflection about my post! You definitely already are a blessing to others-especially me:) Hugs and love xox

    • bobritzema says:

      I’m the one who should be thanking you for such a beautiful post. I so appreciate your willingness to share your journey with all of us.

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