Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

February 27, 2005


Despite what ails me, I am awfully well for the shape I am in



          My longtime friend Jennie Lynn Murphy honored me this week. She came across a delightful poem written by an old geezer like me. I swelled with pride to think that this poem made her think about me.

          I am getting older every day. My eyesight is dimming, and I can hardly hear, but thank God, I still have my driver’s license.  I have had two knees replaced, and heaven only knows what will have to be replaced next. Everything I do is slower than it used to be, but I still manage to have my tank full of enthusiasm for life every morning.

          I like Jennie Lynn’s poem. I wish I had written it. I could have because it reflects my desire never to give up, despite whatever ailments old age brings on.

          I share it with you in the hope that some aging codger who is about ready to throw in the towel will have a good laugh and decide to get back into life with renewed passion.  As you can tell by reading the poem, the author is a winner who will never give up, a fighter whose humor is contagious.


There's nothing the matter with me, 
I'm just as healthy as can be, 
I have arthritis in both knees, 
And when I talk, I talk with a wheeze. 
My pulse is weak, my blood is thin, 
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.

All my teeth have had to come out, 
And my diet I hate to think about. 
I'm overweight and I can't get thin, 
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in. 


And arch supports I need for my feet. 
Or I wouldn't be able to go out in the street. 
Sleep is denied me night after night, 
But every morning I find I'm all right. 
My memory's failing, my head's in a spin. 
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.  
Old age is golden I've heard it said, 
But sometimes I wonder, as I go to bed. 
With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup, 
And my glasses on a shelf, until I get up. 
And when sleep dims my eyes, I say to myself, 
Is there anything else I should lay on the shelf? 

The reason I know my Youth has been spent, 
Is my get-up-and-go has got-up-and-went! 
But really I don't mind, when I think with a grin, 
Of all the places my get-up has been. 


I get up each morning and dust off my wits, 
Pick up the paper and read the obits. 
If my name is missing, I'm therefore not dead, 
So I eat a good breakfast and jump back into bed. 

The moral of this as the tale unfolds, 
Is that for you and me, who are growing old. 
It is better to say "I'm fine" with a grin, 
Than to let people know the shape we are in.  


          If we are willing, we can learn a lot from old folks. My friend Sherrill Morrison has endured chronic pain for years, but never complains. Ask him how he feels and his answer is always the same. “Super,” he says.

          People like Sherrill, and the author of this amusing poem, offer strength that inspires and helps us keep going, despite the aches and pains of our aging bodies. + + + +