Decrepit

Decrepit: (adj) weakened by old age; feeble; infirm

Turns out my grandpa was not decrepit.

I was wrong in my twenty-two-year-old assessment.

Just last week, I discovered that he had just chosen to slow down, and instead of being rushed and hurried, paced himself in such a way that he would not have to arrive at his destination out of breath.

It was actually rather intelligent.

So my criticism of his turtle speed and caution when reaching for a handrail at a flight of stairs was ill-founded, reeking of prejudice.

He had just grown old enough to discover that the tortoise does win the race over the hare and that handrails on stairs are quite attractive and reassuring.

For all those years, I thought my grandpa was decrepit, when really, he was just exercising his wisdom more than his legs.

I learned this through reaching the same age he was when I criticized him.

Oh, that the young could temporarily feel the creak in a joint when it is asked to move too quickly. There would never be another harsh word coming from their lips.

No one is decrepit if they can fulfill the mission they’ve set out to do.

No one is decrepit simply because they choose not to be speedy.

And no one is decrepit merely by accumulating memories of birthday parties—or becoming an active member of the AARP.