Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Aging: When I Grow Up I Want to be Like You!

Have you seen those t-shirts that have the words "Be patient, God isn't finished with me yet!"? Generally we put those cute little shirts on a 2 year olds because they do require a lot of patience. But I have come to believe that those shirts should come in all sizes.

I have a friend that celebrated his 80th birthday yesterday. Seven of us played 18 holes of golf with him to mark the day. When we grow up we all want to be like him.

We gathered for a birthday party his wife had organized on Saturday. There were  64 people there that value him as much as I do. He is funny and smart and very durable. You can see why there are those of us that want to be like him.

Aging is not easy. It requires tenacity to reach 80 years of age. You need exercise, good food, lots of social interaction and, most of all, a sense of humor. But mostly, it requires the ability to remain flexible enough to meet the challenges that aging brings.

Hollis is a retired Air Force major and
stands in front of a crowd with ease and
dignity. When he gave his thank you
speech we were all moved.

So here we are in a group picture. Hollis and his wife, Mary, are kneeling on the floor with one of their small grandchildren. Many people in this picture are over eighty and even though you can pick out a few, in most cases you would never guess who they are.

I decorated the tables for my friend and on the napkins I put a tag stamped with the words, "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?" Each person that read it stopped to think.

Hollis's beautiful daughter (center) and family!
I also placed a small sign on the table asking everyone to write some words of wisdom on the back of the tag. I thought with that many older and wiser people all together, there had to be some advice that needed to be shared. Even grandchildren added their thoughts. When Hollis went home he read them all. I thinks the ones he will treasure are the ones from children and grandchildren. One said "Be kind even when you don't feel like it." It was unsigned but I suspect it was one the daughters that wrote it.

Everyone in that room sees people like Hollis as an inspiration.  Because of them we have learned that almost all things are possible. Life is a gift and the trick is to enjoy and treasure each and every moment! What a wonderful way to celebrate of life.

Have a beautiful day and remember to always always "Be kinder than you feel!"


Note:  The candle holder was a wine bottles sprayed with high gloss spray paint. The crayons on the tables were used to doodle on the paper table covering. 

Granddaughter Gracie doodling for Grandpa!
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