Age: It’s just a number

Dear Parish Family:

Age is a funny thing; it’s only a number and it all depends on how you feel, and look. It’s nice to hear people say, “You don’t look your age!” or “You are pretty active for your age!” And I especially like to hear, “Wow, I would never have guessed you were that old!”

This week, July 22nd, I turn 65 and for some reason the US government, AARP, my health insurance company, and at least 10 other health and insurance providers, assisted living centers, hearing aid providers and more have brought this fact to my attention for at least the last 5 months. Age is relative and I am proud to have reached 65; especially being the youngest of 7. My 5 brothers throughout our childhood would always say, “How old are you?” “Seven” I would reply; response, “You’re not going to live to see eight!” This happened for many of our growing up years! So, I am happy (and lucky) I made it this far.

I do notice that I have trouble recalling things as quickly as I used to. Eventually the word, or thought comes to mind, but it causes me to wonder if I am starting to lose my mind. I am not as sharp as I used to be. Pam tells me this is good news. “If you know you are losing your mind that means you’re getting dementia and not Alzheimer’s!” as she laughs. I believe this is a case of elder abuse. I wonder if this is payback for all the times I have kidded the “elders” in my life. Now I am becoming one of them. I better hold my tongue.

Next year I will also celebrate a significant priesthood anniversary, 40 years! I remember when I was younger and thought, “Boy are those guys old!” Now I have a whole different take and perspective on anniversaries and the aging process.

I have my Medicare Card (Part A) in my wallet and will officially join the ranks of the elders of the community even though many “youngsters” thought I did that a long time ago. The good news: It’s just a number and all depends on how you feel and look! I feel great!

Fr. Bill