When did I get old? The calendar says I’m entering the final third of my sojourn on Earth. If I’m lucky. Reality says I could go at any time. I’m good with that. I’ve lived twenty-five years longer than Jesus. I’ve outlived both of my parents. I’ve had someone I loved die in my arms. My kids are essentially grown and independent. Except for Elijah. He looks like a man, but he’s still my little boy.
That said, let’s wind back to Christmas night when I was cuddling my five-year-old g-baby Tennyson. She reaches up and pats my cheek. She sees my wrinkles and asks about my “scrapes.” I tell her that my face caved in because I’m old. She gets this comical look of concern in her eyes. “You’re old?” I am, I tell her. “Are you going to die?” she wonders. I am, sweetheart. Everyone dies.
At this point Tennyson breaks into a full-throttle wail and everyone from every room comes racing to see what I’ve done now to torment the poor kid.
“G-Mom is dying. Her face caved in!”
It takes a good three minutes for people to stop laughing and for Tennyson to calm down. Two days later, and I’m still upset. I hate my wrinkles, my achy bones, the wear and tear on my physical and mental self—but I love growing old. Every day that I wake up I feel like God has given me one more chance to get it right, to create something that helps someone, or to learn whatever I’m here to learn. Life is precious. Life is priceless.
George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”
I don’t know about you, but when I’m done working today, I’m going to build a snow fort, pack an arsenal of snowballs, and lay in wait for little Tennyson to show up.
P.S. the picture is of Tenna and me…sans wrinkles. Thanks Photoshop.