Wait. Hold it.
My 76 is not finished.
Ahhhhh. What a beautiful day.
I've enjoyed a number of sweet events during the last days of my seventy-sixth year as a real God-created human living on this earth. The first six months of my 76th year, I was still reeling from a life-changing illness that began during the last two months of that strange silver jubilee.
Well, into the life of everyone some rain falls, and all that. So be it.
BUT. . . .
These days, I make myself STOP to relish, cherish, memorize, and enjoy moments. And to give thanks. The past few days have been full of those times.
For the LAST time while I am SEVENTY-SIX, things I will never ever repeat while I am still 76:
I attended a writers’ meeting. !!! Those faithful writing ladies at Hill Country Women of Words always save a chair for me (and reading time) just in case I show up. I read an excerpt to them from a project I’m desperately working on to finish before my 77th year is done !!!! (worthy goal, don’t you think !!!) They, of course, gave me great reviews and cheers to carry on to completion.
Dear Heart & I had missed Valentine's Day this year, on purpose, so he took me to lunch a few days late to celebrate our Valentine memories…believe me, we have special ones: He proposed--with roses in hand--on Valentine's Day 2002, we walked on the beach in Sarasota, FL, and landed back on earth a few years later. We cherish remembering special days AND continue (YES, even old folks can create new special memories) to make new memories to celebrate.
My Christmas Cactus is blooming like crazy. Gorgeous, beautiful, crimson blooms to knock your socks off.
**Dear Heart, Daughter, and I all went to Darren's Hair Cut place for fresh haircuts. Together. At the same time.
** Then, all three of us got pedicures & manicures. Well, I got the additional french tips, but I'm the birthday girl, don't you see.
** Son called me from Louisville.
Ahhhhh. One of the good things in life. A grown son who calls his mom. A year ago when I was desperately ill for some 40 days, he called everyday for some four weeks when life was touch and go. Didn't miss a day. With all his responsibilities. Yes, I am blessed. Last Wednesday we chatted and shared while he walked Duke, the family faithful dog. Yes. Good things.
**I am ashamed to admit that I actually forgot a lunch date with a precious friend. Can you imagine???? Well, give me a little credit (and, she gave me LOTS of forgiveness) several bad nights / busy days in a row. Being such a dear and long-time friend, she knew something had gone wrong when I didn't show up at our appointed time. She called, I cringed, she forgave and even brought hamburgers to my house--even an extra one for Dear Heart.
Sweet daughter-in-law gave me a to-die-for massage.
I left my two precious care-receivers at home for 4 hours while I attended a workshop at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. With her words, Mary Earle filled my heart, soul, and days with encouragement, enlightenment, and hope. I've ordered a few REAL books to further encourage me through this year's Lenten Journey. You know: books with paper pages on which I can mark, highlight, and dog-ear. (apologies, Grandson J.)
** Mary Earle's: Julian of Norwich: Selections from Revelations of Divine Love-Annotates & Explained.
** Greg Pennoyer: God for Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent and Easter
**Kathleen Norris: The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and "Women's Work"
These selections should fill my 77 Lenten Journey. !!!
And now it is Monday. I'm still 76 years old. This week alone:
© Dear Heart and I took time today to run errands. While we were out and about, I filled the car with gas and gave thanks we can afford to keep it running; we went through the car-wish and gave thanks I don’t have to hose it myself; I vacuumed all the dirt and gravel out of the inside and gave thanks for the heavy-duty vacuum that is easy for this OLD woman to handle; and back safe in our garage, I wiped all our windows with my magical e-cloths.
© I made a CD, all by myself, that will play a video I made, all by myself, on my camera. wooo-hooooo
© Saved $10.00 per month on my phone bill
© Further organized my office to efficiently handle the latest responsibilities passed off from Dear Heart. He calls me his Best Secretary.
© Served a delicious soup and cornbread supper on the lovely new dishes Daughter K. gave me for Christmas.
None of my little, daily, end of a year, things are earth-shattering or even life-changing. I just know that life goes on and that it feels good to stop to remember and to give thanks.
So, when you wake up in the morning, you will find this, the last words I penned while I was yet SEVENTY-SEVEN. I was born in 1937. On the 25 (2+5=…. Yes 7). Somehow, I am eager to experience what a whole years of SEVENS will produce.
Therefore, dear friends, I am convinced that it is a good thing to stop, think, remember, make note, and high-light special moments, days, events. Life speeds by faster than most of us can even think. Life is good. Rich. Sweet. God planned it like that way back in the Garden days. I believe it is important, regardless of our birthday numbers, to continue to take stock, remember, celebrate, and yes: CHERISH the gifts God provides day after day, year in and year out. In sickness and in health.
Until He calls us Home.
Pending that day – REJOICE. I say again, REJOICE.
Of one thing I am certain:
My Holy Father’s love and presence and forgiveness is faithful. Always.
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am HE,
I am HE who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Blessings and Hugs,