“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, ‘A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!’”

Robert Browning was 52 when he wrote the much-loved lines above. I’ve tried to follow Browning’s advice. I’ve outlived him by a decade, enjoying most of my life, particularly the later years. I’ve also had the benefit of modern medicine to ease my way. What now? This column is for my friends at the Pullman Senior Center, who, though increasingly challenged gerontologically, are still lots of fun. Younger folks are free to read it also.

“Gerontologists seem to divide themselves into two warring categories,” according to the National Library of Medicine: “poets versus pathologists.” The poets “consider the phenomenon of aging as a part of life, a normal stage in human development.” They often portray aging as positive. Those holding such views tend to be purveyors of the social sciences and to quote Browning’s above words.