Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Let’s say my life expectancy is 88 years old. That’s a nice number. Double digits, couple of eight balls. Not exactly 90, a little after 85. I like it. I think my life will come to a final curtain when I’m 88. If I’m thinking in these terms, then this Tuesday, I’m at the halfway mark. In the immortal words of the pastor who called the Sunday night bingo games, in his thick Irish brogue, “G- farty-far….G-farty-far, does anyone have that lucky number?” I’m about to be officially 44 (farty far) years old. It’s halftime. Where does the time go? Death isn’t something I think about much. Maybe I should. If I did, I’d make some special requests for the end of the game, if possible.

If I had a choice, I’d order a nice early bed-time, a cup of Chamomile with honey, a soft warm blanket; my rosary and I would simply fall asleep after saying my prayers and never wake up. Hopefully I would die with a smile on my face after dreaming something really wonderful. I would recall when my kids were born, or when J.D. and I were married…these would all bring back great memories that would make me smile. But perhaps, at that age, I would be dreaming about the day my grandchildren were born and the very first time they called me “Nanny.” But we don’t really know the day or the hour, do we? I’m just speculating on all this because in my ‘Life Span’ class I had to take a life expectancy test this week, and based on my lifestyle and my medical history, the test told me that I would live to be 91 years old! I find that incredible. The double eights make much more sense. I never thought I’d live that long. When I was in the insurance business, the tables always told me I was checking out around 74. That’s entirely unacceptable. That’s young!

I was amazed to realize that as we are getting older, the whole population seems to be living longer, much longer than the generation of my great grandparents. My dad’s parents are still alive, both of them and he will be 70 in January! That’s phenomenal and it should take into consideration several things, not the least of them, advances in modern medicine, fitness, diet and nutritional advances.

As I enter the halftime, I can’t believe the changes that are ahead. Going back to school gave me new perspective on how beneficial life long learning is, especially in the aging population. There is nothing more encouraging than to see people in my parent’s generation returning to school and learning for the sheer joy of it. Most of the women in my study groups for organic chemistry and anatomy and physiology are my age or younger. The conversations at home are a little more intellectual now that Mom is in school too. It makes us all think a little more about the world around us.

As I age, I find that the older I get, the younger the old folks appear to me, not only physically, but emotionally too. The conversations get more interesting with the life perspective broadening. When I was young, I used to laugh at the silliness of my grandmother and all her mannerisms. I can still hear her voice like it was yesterday. She had a simple life, but I think it was rich because she shared so much of herself with others. I hope I achieve that kind of openness and willingness to meet people where they are at. I hope when I am 88, I can look back on my life and say, “everything’s just fine” and then slowly step into the next life, with God’s grace. If I’m meant to suffer, I hope I can still have that smile.

The first half of life was a great. The game was full of touchdowns and setbacks but, since its only halftime, I guess I’ve got a little more time left. In the meantime, I’ll get on with it. There is still so much to see, so much work to do and at least farty far more in the bag.


Tom said...

Happy Happy Birthday
Happy Happy Birthday
Birthday Birthday Birthday
Happy Happy Happy!

My B-Day is Oct 12th! We are both Libra's! Hootie Hoo!

Tammy's columns said...

Tom: Good friends, great memories, and close birthdays. We have to plan a little better. Next year, we'll celebrate together.

Let me know if Hudnall needs seat warmers for his 49er seats. Lucky dog.

Tom said...

sounds like a plan!