THE GATE: THINGS MY MOTHER TOLD ME
By Stan I. S. Law
The Sadness of Old Age
I am 84 years old while I am reviewing this story and I have read the previous reviews, but one of the areas everyone seemed to miss is that this older Polish lady kept asking the Nuns of this Catholic Assisted Living Residence why they kept trying to keep old people alive when they were no longer functioning, and she tried so hard to have them refrain from doing things to keep her husband alive when he was past ninety, burdened with Alzheimer’s, and being tied in a chair or bed or anything to keep him up right. I particularly felt this as she tried so hard to help him pass and then when she was in her late nineties, she was forced to live the same way.
The Nuns explained that it was a gift of God, but for any seniors who have reached that stage, no, it is a gift of God to pass over. The author did an excellent job of describing this Polish couple who had survived World War II, moved to Canada, raised two sons and lived a rewarding life until their physical incapacities forced them to move into a Polish Catholic home. The dialogue between her son, Raphael and herself was tremendous. Her honesty with which she decided to read the English version of the Bible to acquaint herself more fully with God, against the Polish bible she had once read, was thought provoking, as well as the conversations with the others. There is no doubt, that this is a book to alert you to the fact that there are many way to accept God, and there is more suffering among the elders if they have a prolonged lifetime than many might ever suppose.
I recommend this book highly to anyone, young or old, who are walking in these shoes right now for its intellectual education and its deep understanding of this portion of our lives.