My God! Seventy-eight? Move over, Methuselah!!!
Last year when someone congratulated me on my birthday I held up my ten fingers and said, "At my age, when you can count the years you probably have left on your two hands, it calls more for sympathy than congrats. And that's the way I feel now, standing at this latest threshold.
When I was a kid, those gala celebrations with all the buddies and gals, it felt like I was "king of the mountain." I didn't even think of tomorrow let alone the future. It was just "eat, drink and be merry." The important thing was the games, punch and cake, and the all those presents. Actually I could hardly wait for it to happen again next year.
But a lot of years have flown by since then (faster than I could ever have imagined). There are occasions past that I remember with much pleasure, celebrations in different places (once, even in China) and with different people. There were times when I received lavish presents, and other times when I received hugs that meant every bit as much.
But right now I'm talking about seventy-eight, when each day is special ... for it might be the last. When a storehouse of memories both good and bad are my chief companions. When my greatest treasure is "experience," which surpasses even people and presents these days. I look back on the ones that I have touched along the way. And the good that I have striven to impart, these make this present milestone one of pleasant reflections even if perchance it might be the last.
If you too are in this same period of existance, you know what I'm talking about. I can even hear you saying "Amen, brother." But you who are a long way off, you will eventually be here. I ask you to remember one thing, these ARE golden years (in spite of the feeble step and faltering hand), you may look forward to them ... different ... but a part of the process of life. I and my ilk won't be around to encourage you then, but I pray that like us you will find the same satisfaction of the latter years as you found in the former.
Happy birthday, Hilly. Yes, that's appropriate, but more than that a happy life for us all as long as it lasts.