Reece Gardner: Age is only a number
First, I want to say "Thank You" to the many of you who responded to my Neuse News column from last week about men being happy people. I really appreciate that!
This week, I want to talk about age and how people handle it differently. I think too much emphasis is placed on chronological age. I am convinced if people didn't know how old they were, they would live a lot longer.
In a recent Sunday School class, we had a lively discussion about age. A lot of wisdom was imparted during that discussion, such as, "Every day is a gift from God" and "We're so busy watching out for what's ahead of us that we don't take time to enjoy what we have now" and "Stop looking for the storms and enjoy the sunlight.” Other views shared included, "Think good thoughts" and "Take life one day at a time."
People are living longer. The Census Bureau recently revealed the number of people living to age 90 and beyond has tripled since 1980 and is likely to quadruple by 2050. But just as important, and perhaps more so, is not so much the number of years we live but how we live those years.
For example, while my Emma didn't come close to living to age 90, she fully lived the years she was given, helping others along the way. She was my angel and a light to the world.
Betty Streifling of Lorma Linda, Calif. was still living in her own apartment at age 101, attending exercise classes five days a week and lifting weights at the gym. My uncle, Baxter Gardner, lived in a small home on the outskirts of Chesterfield, S.C., and at age 96 he still walked to town, a distance of about 3 miles, several times a week.
He once said, "A lot of people's lives are filled with great misfortunes, most of which never happen."
Walter Breuning remembers getting his first haircut on the day of the assassination of President McKinley. He said he quit smoking at age 103 because tobacco became too expensive, but he started smoking again at age 105 when he began receiving cigars as gifts.
Bessie Cooper Brown was a retired school teacher who, at age 110, still took pride in her mostly spotless voting record — she’s voted since 1920, when the 19th Amendment was passed, allowing women to vote.
Jean Jacques Rousseau put it this way: "To live is not merely to breathe, it is to act. The person who has lived longest is not the one who counted the years, but the one who enjoyed life the most."
And Joy Bell said this: "Live today to the fullest and enjoy every moment of the journey. Appreciate where you are at this moment, not where you might be some day."
Now allow me to add this: If you are grieving today — and a lot of people are — let's just remember this too shall pass and we are living, breathing, walking, talking miracles, born in the image of God and bound for the Promised Land.
Now let's close on a humorous note: It was 3 o'clock in the morning; the receptionist at a posh hotel was dozing off when a lady came running toward her screaming.
"Please come quickly," she yelled, "I just saw a naked man outside my window!"
The receptionist immediately rushed up to the lady's room.
"Where is he?" asked the receptionist.
"He's over there," replied the lady, pointing to an apartment building opposite the hotel.
The receptionist looked over and could see a man with no shirt on moving around his apartment.
"It's probably a man who is getting ready to go to bed," she said reassuringly, and then asked, "How do you know he's naked, you can only see him from the waist up."
"The dresser, honey," screamed the lady, "Try standing on the dresser!"
Have a wondrous day!