Friday, March 30, 2007

Measuring Age and Determining Fate

As having grown older throughout the years, I have finally discovered why my parents never celebrated their birthdays with pomp and circumstance. Birthdays are reminders of the finite scope of life, and with each additional candle placed atop the chocolate cake, we slowly become aware that there is one year less to celebrate and observe. Gadabout doesn’t mention his birthday to others, but someone always seems to remember and send a card. This year I received a birthday card from my banker. Wonderful!

Birthdays aren’t the only reminders of age and the passing of time. Photos are evil reminders too. This past Christmas I brought my significant other girlfriend home for a few days. Our family always throws a big bash the Sunday before Christmas, so I thought it might be good for the extended family to meet Gadabout’s flame. While in my father’s den, during a brief moment of peace, I pointed out a picture on the wall taken in Las Vegas with Gadabout and Gadabout’s brother and father. My special friend asked “who is that guy in the middle?” I was hurt. Ah, yes, the gray hair is a bummer.

Besides pictures and birthdays to haunt us, God also sends us subtle reminders of the passing of time. I used to run an 8 minute mile—faster if I had to. 8 turned to 9 in my thirties and then 10 minute miles a few years ago. Now I am pushing 11’s and my knees ache constantly. I know I must look pathetic to passing drivers.

My most recent blessing of age is the need for reading glasses. When first discovered that I was having a difficult time reading smaller print, I was able to get by with low power 1.00 glasses from the drug store. Now I am using 2.00’s and am now an addict. I have extra pairs throughout the house, in my briefcase and backups in the car. How about you?

Sure, I know that I am lucky to have made it this far without additional disabilities that others face. I am thankful for my fortunes, but age does march with an insidious swagger and takes no prisoners. Time sounds a steady drumbeat of echoes that become louder with every passing day.

Perhaps all the aging signals; birthdays, aches and pains, reading glasses and photos; can be viewed in a positive light. Positive in the sense that they may prove to be gentle reminders of our limited time to accomplish our life’s mission, face challenges and make positive steps forward before our journey’s eventual and certain end. Time is limited, let’s all make the best of it.

Gadabout is dedicated to taking comfort in the aging process, knowing that all things will become memories, ashes and forgotten tears.


Anonymous said...

Hello Jaws! Melvin's girlfriend Amie here...stopping by to say hello. I have to add one thing to this the gray hair is not a bummer. In fact, The Melvin puts a prayer under his pillow every night that he too someday may have hair your color because "chicks dig it".

Gadabout Jack said...

Dear Amie...Gadabout is blushing!