This past month was my mother’s birthday.
She turned 87. In a memory-deficient care home, she is happy, hums all the time and is cared for well. On Facebook all sorts of friends are having their birthdays – a reflection of indoor activity during the fall and winter months.
Every year we get older. We can’t stop the aging process.
At first (the first birthday) we get all sorts of attention. We have made it thus far, and are expected to live on into the future. As our last birthday approaches, our relatives and friends celebrate that we have made it thus far and are expected to die soon. We relive memories.
I am a bit of a decadal person in this birthday memory thing.
My tenth birthday was JFK’s assassination year (for those of you who don’t know what that is, check out Google). This internationally reported event has shaped history (he ruined our TV schedule that day – no cartoons because we had to watch him get shot over and over).
On to the twentieth! I met my first serious girlfriend (I actually kiss her more than once). She ends up becoming my wife three years later. Now that’s memorable.
Thirty? I am in the midst of an occupational funk. In this interim year I spend time researching a book for professors at a seminary. Not great pay, but I can claim to be an “expert” on the book’s primary character – “A.B. Simpson”. The taste of library and archives research leads me to seek out an educational degree in those same areas. I still have an abiding love for history, research and organization.
Over the hill at 40? I’m about to move from being an educator and administrator, into an unusual situation. Who ever heard of hiring a musically uneducated singer to become a director of music in a large church? I guess no one told Prince Albert Alliance Church that wasn’t a strategic move – which “move” lasted a decade!
Guess where 50 takes me? To a small town in the middle of – oops! the hub of – what some would call “nowhere.” Of course, I consider this town (Kindersley) to be the center of the universe. This is a return home – to my birthplace! To a job as a solo pastor (no musical pun intended). This is where friends of decades surround me. This is where an urban boy comes to discover his roots.
60 dawns with new light amidst veiled darkness. My first wife of 35 years has recently passed away and I am getting remarried. Starting over is a very real adventure. Learning each other’s dictionaries makes simple sentences a complex discussion. In caring for each other, we begin to see life from new lenses. Never too late to start over!
And now, another decade is only years away. My brother-in-law, from Oregon, made an interesting observation recently. Expanding hope in this life pushes us to see beyond this life into eternity. Whatever our age, our next breath is an exciting statement that life goes on, into the beyond
And what of the next decades/millenia – of dreams, hopes and memories? Only God knows.
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