I remember reading a letter to Ann Landers, the syndicated columnist who could solve everyone’s problems. A woman complained that she had just turned 40 and her life was over. How could anyone cope with being past life’s prime? Ms. Landers replied by publishing a letter she received from a young man in his early twenties who was suffering from a form of cancer that would inevitably, in a short time, end his life.
“I will never see age 40,” he said. “Why would anyone complain about having attained the ripe old age of 40?”
This week I turned 66—and I am grateful for every grey hair, blemish and wrinkle. I have earned them!
I drive a lot. Have you ever stopped to consider the fact that most of us, on a daily basis, get behind the wheel and hurtle down the highway at 70 miles per hour with cars coming at us from the opposite direction going the same rate of speed—and with nothing between cars but a thin painted line? I think many of us numb our minds to the danger by holding a cell phone to one ear.
I have to admit, though, old age isn’t for the faint of heart.
Take, for example, the elderly Florida lady who did her shopping and, upon returning to her car, found four males in the act of leaving with her vehicle. She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at them at the top of her voice, “I have a gun and I know how to use it! Get out of the car, you scum bags!”
The four men didn’t wait for a second invitation but got out and ran like mad. The woman, somewhat shaken, proceeded to load her shopping bags into the back of the car and to get into the driver’s seat. She was so shaken that she could not get her key into the ignition. She tried and tried and then it dawned on her why. A few minutes later she found her own car parked for or five spaces farther down. She loaded her bags into her car and drove to the police station.
The sergeant to whom she told the story nearly split a stitch with laughter and pointed to the other end of the counter, where four pale white males were reporting a car-jacking by a crazy elderly woman described as white, less than five feet tall, glasses, and curly white hair carrying a handgun. No charges were filed.
Some thoughts on aging (These have been around a while—I didn’t come up with them): Some days you’re the dog; some days you’re the hydrant. I started with nothing, and I still have most of it. I finally got my head together and now my body is falling apart. My wild oats have turned into prunes and All Bran. I wish the buck stopped here, I could sure use a few. The only time the world beats a path to your door is when you’re in the bathroom. These days I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter…I go somewhere to get something and then wonder what I’m here after.
This being the season for giving thanks, I wish to thank a benevolent Father in Heaven for family, friends, health, hot showers in winter and iced-down Dr. Pepper in the summer-time.
Each of us, no matter what our trials in life, has much for which to be grateful.
“O how you ought to thank your Heavenly King! I say unto you that if you should render all thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—
I say unto you that if ye should serve Him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve Him with all your whole souls yet would ye be unprofitable servants.
And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep His commandments; and He has promised you that if ye would keep His commandments ye should prosper in the land…”