Hiccups

I was sitting with my dog recently. We were just chilling, something at which we’re both good. The silence and communion were peaceful and then, without warning, she started hiccupping. Although the interruption in our peace experience was minor, it demonstrated how something as common as a hiccup can offer a metaphor for some of life’s deeper happenings.

I think most of us, as we age, comprehend the concept of living in the moment. If some of us don’t, we haven’t taken advantage of the myriad lessons life offers free of tuition. We should also understand that even with the most developed skills of being able to live for right now, right now can be interrupted. Except for my habit of saving for the future, I think I have been a person who tries his best to live in the moment. Of course, the practice of living in the moment can prove to be fluid.

A moment can be any number of minutes, hours, or days. It all depends on what you’re doing and whether you’re at your best physically and mentally in pursuit of it. For example, you’ve decided to go back to school and study for a PhD. Chris has decided to do that. She hasn’t been in school for over thirty-five years, when she was studying for her master’s. She’s going to be working hard at each moment to be the best student she can be. Each moment will work like a piece of glass inserted on a canvas to make a beautiful mosaic.

As we use our best skill, knowledge, and ability to be the best that we can with each God-given moment, hiccups can occur. We might experience a health scare. Some financial calamities might wipeout most of our cash reserves, making it necessary to start over again. Some hiccups are short in length and others may seem to take up permanent residence. Oftentimes, the long-term ones give us an opportunity to meet challenges we never imagined. I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma twenty-one years ago. It  has been a significant life-altering experience. What I considered a hiccup at the time, has stayed around for a long time. My life wouldn’t be what it is today if that hiccup; that change in my health profile hadn’t happened.

I leave you with this: as you’re coasting along life’s highway, enjoying the journey, don’t be surprised when a hiccup comes. Don’t deny the presence of the hiccup. If you haven’t experienced a hiccup yet, just keep living. I’ve found that my faith in God helps me deal with the effects of the hiccups of life.  Denial doesn’t work.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.

Others helped you get here

I think it’s a maturity thing (spiritual to a large degree) that causes many to offer more prayers of gratitude after sixty-five. No. I haven’t done any studies or referenced any research that supports this. However, anecdotal evidence seems to back it up. I have many connections to people who suffer from a variety of chronic ailments; ailments that have been around for more than three months, which make life a daily challenge. Testimonies from lots of older folks, with health issues, demonstrate that they are grateful for getting out of bed each day.

I’ve written a considerable amount about my own chronic health condition, and I know each day alive is evidence against all odds the world might take against me. Quiet prayers and meditative moments of thanks are part of my daily routine. Lately, I’ve been giving thought to people God has placed in my path throughout my life. There’s a strange irony that occurs whenever I think about these folks; I remember them. If you knew how bad my memory is, you would understand why I call this strange. I’m one of those people who runs into someone in the airport I haven’t seen for quite some time, they greet me and confidently pronounce my name. I, on the other hand, only remember their face; however, I do a fairly good job of making them feel good, at least I think so. There are people who have been with me at certain legs of my life’s journey, and they have uploaded something of extraordinary value to may hard drive.

My first-grade teacher is a person I’ve not seen for well over sixty-five years. She’s been gone from this plain of existence for a long time, but I still remember Ms. A. I remember the trauma of being left at that place, on the first day of school, and how Ms. A helped me survive. I remember my fifth-grade teacher, Ms. B, and several teachers at Wynne, Arkansas’ Childress Elementary and Childress High School. This little separately operated and far from equal facility showed me clearly how dedication to a cause, with few resources can have tremendous impact on the community. I remember Mr. S, my high school counselor, who convinced me that I should go to college.

Throughout my life there have been countless relatives, college/graduate school professors, mentors and healthcare providers who have served me well. Some of these folks probably had no idea of the indelible impression they made on my life. I wonder what sort of person I would be today if the mixture of individuals I’ve had relationships with, short and long-term had of been different.

The longer we live, the greater our chances of being blessed and to bless others. You may think your life has little influence on others, but keep living, and one day someone will tell you of a time that you provided invaluable help to them. It will be a story about a time that you’ve probably forgotten; however, the bearer of the story will remember the encounter in the freshest of details. I believe this is the way God wants things to work between us. It may not seem as though I need you, but I do.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.