The Winter of Our Lives

The Winter of Our Lives!

Today I wrote in my private journal, something I would like to share:

    “The liturgy today speaks of the winter of our lives, ‘when we too experience the winter of our lives may we find courage to let go and trust in your guiding, warming light.”

I feel like I am in the winter of my life, I am growing older, no longer the young foolish kid, and slowing down. My bones ache, I get tired so easy, and there are days I have to simply rest for hours. My fears of disability, of being incapacitated, and being alone, terrify me. My fears of being pushed out to live  on the street, terrify me. I have a fear that if I become disabled I will find myself in some nursing home alone.  It has been a dark winter.

Relationships are always in flux, and I realize my tendency to form

unhealthy relationships  when I am ill, and the tendency to push people away as well.

It has been a dark winter.

Time and time again through the years I have wrestled with God, he reminds me, that ultimately all I have is him, and ultimately it is only him.  So each day I take minute by minute trusting in God, ever so weakly, but trusting.”

My birthday is in March.  People ask why I do not reveal my age, and the reason is we judge people by their age.  When I was a teen pastor, I was “too young”, later “you are to old to dress like you do,” so I have instructed those in charge of my final arrangements to only give my birth year at my memorial service and upon my plague where my ashes will be placed. We judge to much. I have a friend whose dad would never reveal his age, and when he died working full time at 101 people were shocked.  That is why I never reveal my age, it is not important to talk about, it is what is in us, our feelings, our fears, and our wishes that are important.


Our lives change and evolve as we grow older, and my prayer is that your life as well as mine grow in the love of God and humanity, and all of creation.

    Henri Nouwen wrote:

“Birthdays need to be celebrated. I think it is more important to celebrate a birthday than a successful exam, a promotion, or a victory. Because to celebrate a birthday means to say to someone: “Thank you for being you.” Celebrating a birthday is exalting life and being glad for it. On a birthday we do not say: “Thanks for what you did, or said, or accomplished.” No, we say: “Thank you for being born and being among us.” Fr. Henri Nouwen

Each year I celebrate sometimes a hundred birthdays with my kids and with older people, and each celebration is for saying: “Thank you for being born among us.” 

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



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