Officially across the line now

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, December 14, 2022

By Jan Penton Miller

Well…some of our birthdays seem like big ones. I remember how exciting 16 was. Then at 21 I had really arrived. When 30 came along I was happily married with three little ones. Their dad worked offshore so I was super busy every other week when he was working.

Much has changed in my life since then with Glen R’s passing, leaving me an empty nester and a young widow. It’s hard to believe that 16 years have come and gone. We, of course, had planned growing old together, but that wasn’t God’s plan.

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Transitions that are unexpected and unwanted are always difficult, but as I have told people dealing with similar circumstances I just kept walking, and taking it one day at a time.

For so long I wanted my old life back, but that doesn’t really help. Now, on special days I look back, but I also look forward to the time and place of today.

I have truly been blessed in my life not only to have such wonderful memories of my younger self, but also health and happiness with my husband and family today.

When my Medicare card came in the mail I was more than a little freaked out, but I don’t plan on letting this little number of 65 make me feel old. One of my lifetime friends, Anne, and I are going shopping in New Orleans and having lunch to celebrate today. I’m not sure what I’ll buy, but it may be totally young looking and frivolous. In fact, it probably will be.

The phone has been ringing with birthday wishes and even though I’ve not been online as much lately I have had fun reading all the sweet messages. It’s special to have friends and acquaintances take a moment to think of you and send you a message, but it is even better to have that in person communication that we all need.

My precious children have been so thoughtful and kind to pick out gifts that have special meaning. My youngest, Ryan, came in yesterday with an antique singer sewing machine/writing desk that he no doubt took a lot of time shopping for. My sweet Tennessee girl had a book by one of my favorite author’s delivered along with a coffee spoon engraved with “Good Morning Mama”. The gifts are cool, but what touches me is the fact that they put real thought into their purchases.

We all get so busy with the day to day in our fast paced world that it’s easy to overlook others, but taking time for a friend, or loved one is always worth the effort. It has made my official day of senior citizenship feel like a wonderful and blessed event because it is.