Poem sent to Ann Landers in 1980 (Grandma’s favorite)

A Prayer for Later Years

Lord, Thou knowest that I am growing older.

Keep me from becoming too talkative, and particularly keep me from falling into the tiresome habit of expressing an opinion on every subject.

Release me from the craving to straighten out everybody`s affairs. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details. Give me wings to get to the point.

Give me grace, dear Lord, to listen to others describe their aches and pains. Help me endure the boredom with patience and to keep my lips sealed, for my own aches and pains are increasing in number and intensity and the pleasure of discussing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.

Teach me the glorious lesson that, occasionally, I might be mistaken. Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not wish to be a saint (saints are so hard to live with), but a sour old person is the work of the devil.

Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not pushy; independent, yet able to accept with graciousness favors that others wish to bestow on me. Free me of the notion that simply because I have lived a long time I am wiser than those who have not lived so long.

If I do not approve of some of the changes that have taken place in recent years, give me the wisdom to keep my mouth shut.

Lord knows that when the end comes I would like to have a friend or two left.

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