birthdays

Today is birthday number 69. A friend posted on Facebook, “…the Big One is coming next year. Better get all the cake and ice cream while you can.” It’s good to think of aging in a light-hearted way. Lots of things change as one gets older – some for the good – a few present unwelcome challenges.

My grandchildren sent a box of Enstrom’s Toffee, a coffee mug and a little sign that reads, “Grandma and Grandpa’s Place – Memories Made Here”. It made me cry – maybe that’s the best part of a birthday – having friends and family remember you. For those of you who read this and don’t know Enstrom’s Toffee – it’s absolutely the best candy in the world – hands down – nothing else is even close – can eat a pound at one sitting – hide it from Darlene – it could be an addiction with the mail person delivering it from Grand Junction, CO regularly if it weren’t so expensive.

Sixty-nine years of growing to adulthood, of school, of careers, marriage, children, grand-children, church, friends, vacations, moving from place to place, the joys, the heartaches, the adventures, the ho-hum – the sum-total of it all has in the measure of time flown by. Looking back over all those years amazes with how short the time really is. Much of the time was well spent – some of it, not-so-much. The regrets scattered over the past are easy to list, but not helpful to dwell on – they serve to help some with wisdom and experience – in all other respects it is best to look forward from them.

The picture is of me taken on my birthday at my desk at home where I work on a semi-retired basis for Drake Curry – a nice man who has put up with me for the last eight years. He continues to put up with me even though I asked to move 1,600 miles away and work from a home office. I’m blessed by him putting up with me. Work life is good on my 69th birthday.

On a birthday at my age there are a lot more yesterdays than there will be tomorrows. Memories are forever precious, and are a part of us we wouldn’t give up – reflections on the past are much of what defines the present. But, for me, there is no desire to be young again and live any of those years over. Each year so far has been better in important ways than the last one. There is peace and contentment and a certainty of hope that grows each year. The value measured in those types of things has been far greater than the loss of physical abilities that take their toll each year. There is purpose to each person’s life that sharpens in focus with each passing year. There are actions to live out in each day that matter, and there is good that accumulates over a lifetime which makes the world a better place. Maybe the measure taken of that good shows that it is small – but lots of people doing a small amount of good makes a difference. So, for those tomorrows that are left there will be a looking forward – looking to accomplish a little good with a romantic’s faith that good matters, and that it will win out over all else in the end.

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