I was listening to a commentary about a group of football players…
There was much conversation about those players that take care of their bodies, follow sound nutritional advice, and get the necessary and needed rest to rebuild the body, mind and soul. Then the comparison looked at others who were beginning to rethink how they had lived and were making necessary changes to be better off in later years.
Not one time did I hear them talk about me…Whew! Dodged that dart!
We often enter the game nearly too late to enjoy our later years with healthy habits. From eating to exercise, work and rest, we have kept our life ramped up to the notion that this is simply how life is lived! We age. We slow down. And some day our bodies simply quit. Yes. This will happen to all of us. Some day.
A local news talk show was fortunate enough to interview a beautiful singer he adored when he was a young teen. She, and he, are older now. He did not want to meet her face to face. He was happy to simply remember her as she was to him back in his younger days. Then I saw that “I Dream of Jeannie” star, Barbara Eden, turned 85 yesterday…
When did I get so old as to see this movie and TV star age out!??!
And something came to light with blinding clarity. Enough so as to give pause to consider the concept of “aging gracefully”… If all goes well throughout life we will all age, gracefully, or not. And somewhere within that visage of present day is the person that someone remembers at a younger age. I do this unconsciously with my kids. In my minds eye I see them at particular ages of youthfulness. It’s hard to take that image and successfully overlay the physical person they are today. But that image is stuck in my mind… They know which pictures I’m talking about!
You see, someone always remember us as we were…not as we are. And I always remember so many by a different age than they are today. What brings this up?
Yesterday, my dad had a heart attack. Hospital. Blocked artery. Operation. Stent. Do I need to go home? Let’s play it by hear. Then I talked to him in ICU and found out that he may go home within a day. Marvelous technology! Doctors can do so much, but there is only so much they can do if the body is beyond repair. His wasn’t!
However, the one thing a doctor cannot do his rebuild his image to what he was in those youthful years. I met him when I was born, and he was nearly 25 years old. My memory is not fixed to that birth day, rather, I see him a few years later in my mind as a man not quite 30 years old. Curly hair. Mischievous smile. Beautiful singing voice. He loved to laugh and reminisce about life at an earlier age before I knew him. And boy does he love to drink coffee and play Texas 42!
Here was a man who could work up a sweat and do it all day long.
In fact, one of my fondest memories is in the fall of 1961. After Hurricane Carla. While cutting up those 60 trees that had come down in the storm, he found a bees nest. Honey! Smoke ’em out! Rob that hive! Dad walked into that smokey cauldron and shoveled and loaded the honey into a number 3 washtub for us to enjoy. With a shovel! Yes. He got stung. I think. But boy did we enjoy the experience! I see him. Right now. As I think about that day!
That one memory sort of places him in my mind at a certain age – let’s say he would have been 31… Just 30 years younger than I am today. Though I see him with natural eyes as a graying 86 year old today, I remember fondly that time of 55 years ago…and know I will always have him pictured as he was back then.
Love you dad! Get well… See you soon!