Is It Just A Number?

Today is my birthday. Yep, May 18, 1956, was my entrance to the world. I was born in Moses Lake, Washington, and that makes me a natural-born citizen of these United States. 

The math gets harder, so I’ll spare you the trouble. I am now 64 years old. Here are a few of the ideas that I considered, and rejected, for this blog. 

  1. A poem with sixty-four verses
  2. The highlights of my life
  3. The lowlights of my life
  4. Reasons why 64 is better than 63
  5. The things that hurt more today than yesterday

However, none of those seem interesting, and I’m sure most wouldn’t finish reading. So, instead, I’ll ramble for a few hundred words.

Some Facts:

  1. I’ve been married for forty-one years and a dad for 35.
  2. I’ve been a minister for forty years.
  3. Houston has been my home for twenty-two years.
  4. My favorite thing is fly fishing the streams of the Colorado Rockies.
  5. Christmas is still my favorite holiday.  

Some things I’ve discovered about myself: 

  1. I’m not as smart as I thought I was. 
  2. I’ve been wrong about quite a few things.
  3. Change is hard, but it is always the right thing.
  4. I have failed as much as I’ve succeeded.
  5. Believe me, the mind is the first thing to go.

If age is just a number and we are as young as we feel, then half the time I’m confused about how old I am. But it matters not for whatever number reflects my time on earth; it remains just a number. 

I remember when dad bought a color television. It was a massive piece of furniture with beautiful polished wood. I think it was the nicest piece in our living room.

I remember the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and watching Niel Armstrong walk on the moon. 

I got my first bike at eight, my first skateboard at nine, and my first car at sixteen. It was 1973 and the car was a 1962 Chevy Bel Air with 1.6 million miles. 

The Viet Nam war borrowed my dad and then my brother. My other brother spent a dozen years in the Navy. All three served with distinction. 

I’ve learned that life can knock you down, again and again. Life can also present opportunities and open doors when least expected. 

In seasons of dark days with unending grief, I’ve learned it’s best to keep moving forward. Life goes on so we might as well go with it. Life rarely stops to let us catch up.  

As hard as it is to believe, we are never truly alone. All around us are people who have experienced the same troubles. When I feel isolated, cut off, and alone, it’s usually the way I want it. My suffering seems nobler when I brave it by myself, but it’s not. 

I never thought I would get a cell phone, but I did. I never thought I would have more than one TV in my house, but I do. I never thought I would ever drive a convertible, but I am. 

I never thought that being a father would be the highest achievement of my life, but it has. I never thought I would live through a global pandemic, but so far so good.

Life’s struggles, trials, and failures aren’t terrible things. Instead, they have shaped me and enhanced my life quality.

Today is my birthday. I think I’ll go out for lunch. Wait, can I? Should I? I better wear a mask. Will that be awkward? Lower it for each bite, then cover up while chewing, and then repeat? Anyway…

Happy birthday to me. 

 

 

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