Enjoying the Passage of Time

Editor’s Note: With Betty Meyer’s passing, we felt it would be appropriate to reprint her final column with us, a farewell to her readers and the publication she loved so much. This column appeared in Volume 44, Issue 2, in June of 2011.

Betty Herndon Meyer, 1919-2012

Betty Meyer, Editor-in-Chief, 1980-2001

Lately, I’ve seen a spate of books aimed at assuring older people that they can still lead productive lives and even find happiness in spite of the aging process. As someone who will be 93 on her next birthday, I have to chuckle at these well-meaning authors. I am quite happy, thank you very much, and many of my friends feel the same way. Happiness to us is not the exuberance of youth but rather the satisfaction of understanding that life is a miracle – that life is unlikely and improbable. Nevertheless, here we are. Each moment is a gift.

I also believe that we grow wiser as we grow older. Yes, my short-term memory is shot, and I have my share of aches and pains. But, over the years, I have acquired appreciation of the long view and have developed the patience and the presence of mind that have seen me through life’s many changes. My affirmation may be more of a smile than a cartwheel, but it is deeply felt and has been forged and tempered by experience. Life is, after all, a journey through time. And as T.S. Eliot famously put it, “We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

I have been closely associated with Faith & Form since its beginning. But now I feel the time has come for me to relax and just become another loyal reader. So this will be my final column. Michael Crosbie continues to do a magnificent job as editor, and I’m sure the magazine will continue to thrive under his able leadership. I’ll look forward to receiving each issue.

In parting, I want to express my gratitude to you, dear readers, and just want to let you know that your positive responses over the years have meant a great deal to me. May you grow old and always have a gleam in your eye. I love you all.