“Grow old with me! The best is yet to be”.
I just finished reading an article in my local newspaper titled, “If age is just a number, what does “old” really mean? The article was written by Steven Petrow of the Washington Post. In Petrow’s article, he explores a number of variables that one might consider when determining whether old age has entered their life: where you live, how well you’ve cared for yourself, how many years you’ve lived, do you think of yourself as old, and other determiners. Petrow is sixty. At the end of his article, he says he decided to use something called the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance life span calculator, which asks thirteen questions to determine whether one is old. After taking the test, Petrow sees that he has thirty-three more years of life expectancy, barring some catastrophic accident, death from a serious illness, or who knows. This tool also determines that he won’t reach the threshold of old age until he’s sixty-eight.
As I was reading Petrow’s article, I found myself thinking why for god’s sake is he even thinking about old age. Of course, I have considered myself old since I was sixty. Am I applying a double standard, you might ask? No, I don’t think so. However, I am assuming that Petrow isn’t afflicted with some awful chronic illness like cancer. Yeah, I know you probably see where I’m going with this, especially if you’ve read any of my stuff before. I’m that guy with Multiple Myeloma; for going on twenty years by the way. That guy who, when diagnosed on March 12, 2,000, didn’t expect to be around for maybe two or three more years. That guy who has seen other Myeloma warriors, diagnosed around the same time as he, and after, exit this corporal existence.
Do you see now, why I consider myself as old? Oh, and don’t forget “blessed” as my handle so unashamedly proclaim. Each day that has seen me trapes through it, past sixty, has been joyfully considered old for me. I’m not supposed to be sixty-eight. I’m not supposed to be enjoying the presence of family, friends and loved ones, peppering my remaining years with fun, excitement, joy, frustration and all the by-products a life produces. Maybe you might think I haven’t been old since sixty. Maybe you think I should consider myself still taking sips from the “fountain of youth” as Mr. Petrow. I won’t argue with you. I think it’s nice that you think that way. But, for me, I’ll take old age; a vibrant and blessed old age, as my lot and be darn glad about it! I can’t, all things considered, apply the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance life span calculator to my life and feel relatively sure that I’ll be around for twenty-five more years, with an entrance into old age at seventy. My circumstances are drastically different compared to Mr. Petrow; however, I have nothing to be dismayed about. You see, my creator has dealt me a wonderful hand; one not assigned value by chance, but by the miracle of divine providence.
Yes, I’m old and blessed, and I hope you’ll experience it at an age far beyond the years that I’ve assigned to me.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.