Privileges of Aging: Part Three–Sweet Time

To paraphrase Tim McGraw’s ‘Live Like You Were Dying’:

I am in my early seventies
with a lot of life before me
When reality stopped me on a dime

I spent most of the next day aghast that the years had slipped away
considering my options and thinking about sweet time. PARAPHRASE by Me

imageDo I have my ducks in a row? I have spent a lifetime trying to chase down those little critters and keep them in line. At Seventy I am not sure that matters one little bit and it takes way too much energy. The reality is the end of my life is closer now than it was when I was twenty. Since I have experienced the loss of friends in their twenties, thirties and so forth, I realize that thinking seventy was a LONG WAY OFF and dying even futher denied the inevitablity of that fact.

Recognizing one’s own mortality can be a blessing or a curse, but so many privileges are that way. Much like the privilege of parenthood, which as those of us who have had that privilege know is fraught with land mines, moments of boredom, moments of exhilerating happiness, and moments of sheer terror. So it is with the privilege of knowing I am closer to heaven today than yesterday.

I was thinking about that phrase ‘closer to heaven today’ a while back and wrote the following:

While walking outside just today, Spring’s wonder on full display
I observed blooming trees, felt the mist in the breeze, while stifling a sneeze
I breathed the full measure of wanting to stay, still I am closer to heaven today

I am closer to heaven today, it doesn’t feel that far away
There are people now free, who I am longing to see,
Yes, I am closer to heaven today.

It was 1981, I was facing the wrongs I had done
I could no longer cope, was running empty on hope
On a road drifting farther away, I heard a voice say
Be still, I won’t let you slip away,
Be still, I’ll hold on, just turn, look up, look my way
So I am here to say, that I am closer to heaven today.

I am closer to heaven today, it doesn’t feel that far away
There are people now free, who I am longing to see,
Yes, I am closer to heaven today.

I am closer to heaven than I’ve ever been…But Not anxious for this world to end,
So I live to rejoice every day, to love and to laugh and to work and to play
Not rushing to end this incredible stay, but I am closer to heaven today.

I am closer to heaven today, it doesn’t feel that far away
There are people now free, who I am longing to see,
Yes, I am closer to heaven today

Reaching the promised threescore and ten, I could cling to what I have been
Or closing my eyes, breathing in with a sigh
No bosses or people to please, finally I can be me,
Not shrouded in sin, Alive from within
Cause, I am closer to heaven today, it doesn’t feel that far away
There are people now free, who I am longing to see,
Yes, I am closer to heaven today.

So closing my eyes, breathing in with a sigh, I know what it means to be FREE!
Not having to please, allowed to be me, I am closer to heaven today

To really explore this reality in light of the privilege and dare I say responsibility it presents will take me longer than one post.

So let me leave you today with the questions I ask myself often now: WHAT WILL PEOPLE REMEMBER ABOUT ME? or will I be like the scripture that says “the wind blows and it’s place remembers it no more” I think for most of us dying’s not the issue, being of no consequence is. And the second question, perhaps similar to the first is: WILL THOSE WHO COME BEHIND ME FIND ME FAITHFUL?

My Aunt

My Aunt “B” and Me, 87 and 70

What questions do those of you who are facing the reality of mortality ask? What answers do you find?

Have a blessed and adventurous day! If you can’t find a bull named Fu Man Chu to ride, so much the better because you would probably break a hip.

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