Debbie Wilhite – Africa’s Ambassadors

In Australia's Ambassadors by Debbie Wilhite1 Comment

It’s SO good to be home with my family in Africa.  These past months have held some adjustments for all of us as we shift back into a routine that includes my presence.  The older girls did a very commendable job caring for the needs of the family, managing the house, and playing mommy-daddy-sisters to the other children.  I’m very grateful for all the children and their workable, willing spirits.  We also have been able to enjoy the company of George and Jackie Wyatts, James & Diane Kyeyune from Uganda, the Doug Hammetts, and the George Hammetts, as well as a personal quick trip for me to see Donna Kuzel.  You can’t buy good friends and sweet fellowship!

With my birthday coming up, this isn’t a “when-this-you-see-remember-me” article. I am beginning to feel oldER, though. I suppose, at almost 53, I should be. A dear lady in California laughed as she asked me, “Debbie, will you ever grow up?”  My reply was said tongue-in-cheek, “I hope not!”

In January, when Jerry and I were waiting at the doctor’s in Allentown, PA, I glanced at the records I was to hand the receptionist.  Seeing my age in print made it LOOK old!  I think I am beginning to relate more with 76-year-olds, too…One dear lady wrote recently that we have a lot in common with our cataract surgeries and hearing aids!  My audiologist asked me kindly why I’m “falling apart”!  I explained that my ears suffered a hereditary disease, otoschlerosis.  I used to say my ears aged before the rest of me, but now the rest of me seems to be in a hurry to catch up! My eyes were subject to a rare form of glaucoma mostly due to their anatomy and farsightedness.  Now as to the rest of me…I’m not even going to make a guess!

On another birthday six years ago someone commented, “I hear of your problems: your teeth, glasses, hearing…If you could put your head on the shelf, you would be fine!”  What would she think now?!

Recently we chuckled at a song that depicted more of a fellow’s wife sitting on the chair than was on the bed… The other morning Jerry looked at my bedside table and wondered if the song was written about me.

Jerry used to say we have such a wonderful marriage (he still does, and I agree!):  “I can take my ‘eyes’ out (contact lenses) and not have to look at Deb.  And she can take her ‘ears’ (hearing aids) out and not have to listen to me.”  😉  Some things have changed since that joke.  He wears his glasses more than contacts now.  But, on the other hand, I have an artificial lens now in one eye, with another one to be had within a year, a special contact for that eye, bifocals, hearing aids, and one “replacement” tooth.  Years ago when I went for a fitting for that, I whispered to the receptionist, “Do we pay for the thing now?”  She smiled and  practically shouted, “NOT TILL IT ARRIVES, MRS. WILHITE. WE’LL CALL YOU.”  I looked around for a cane…but not finding one, I crept hunchbacked out the door past the curious eyes peering behind the newspapers at me.

This past week I’ve been testing new hearing aids.  At least it wasn’t my hearing that had changed.  The hearing aids were dying, not me!  I like to think I have the best of both worlds. I can put in my hearing aids and hear to my heart’s delight. Or I can shut them off or remove them and be “alone even in a crowd.” Dyanna, bearing a confused look, just brought me a box, stating, “This is making a really weird noise…”  The spare pair of hearing aids were whistling as I hadn’t shut them off properly.  Ha–now, not only can I talk and “whistle” at the same time, I can do it from opposite ends of the house!  Now that’s feedback!

If I live to be 100-years-old, I figure I’m over halfway there.  “Half of my mother is here…half of her is there,” my children could sing.  With more silver threads among the gold beginning to wink out at me in the mirror, I’m also looking more the part of the Coco (grandma) that I am.

So I’ll beat you to the quotes:……

Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life.
In youth we run into difficulties; in old age, difficulties run into us.
Nobody really cares if you’re miserable, so you might as well be happy.
No wise man ever wished to be younger.
Why is it at class reunions you feel younger than everyone else looks?
The trouble with bucket seats is that not everyone has the same size bucket.
After 50, if you don’t wake up aching in every joint you’re probably dead!
Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.
Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
Being “over the hill” is much better than being under it!
Wrinkled was not one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up.
I’m not a complete idiot — some parts are just missing.
I don’t suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.
Out of my mind.  Back in five minutes.
Many people no longer celebrate the arrival of the new year; they celebrate the survival of the old year.
To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am.
There is only one me, and the world breathes a sigh of relief.
The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.  (Abraham Lincoln)
The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.  (William James)

My great comfort with growing older and dealing with aging is that God knows and cares.  As my Heavenly Father, He has promised to be with me.  He is already in all my tomorrows.  As I search His Word and believe His truth, He can help me see life through a proper heavenly perspective.  I have the faithfulpromises of God’s presence, and His truthful perception. Day by day He can give the strength I need as I rely on His power.  With so much for which to thank God, His praise should be in my mouth daily.

After all, if I do live to a ripe old age, and the Lord tarries His coming, there are more changes and challenges on my horizon. And as a Christian, the best is yet to come!!

Rejoicing in another day,
Debbie

Debbie Wilhite

Debbie and her husband, Jerry, are missionaries to South Africa. They have 11 children, 3 of whom still live at home, and 11 grandchildren.

You can read more about their ministry here and read Debbie’s testimony here.

Comments

  1. Happy Birthday Debbie!! May you have a most wonderful day! This is the day that God chose especially for YOU!

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