What would we do without them? We use them on a daily basis. Numbers tell us
- how much we weigh and how tall we are
- who has the most points and who has the least
- when we can start driving, when we can vote, and legally drink alcohol
- how many dollars we get in our paycheck
- how many grandchildren we have
- how many days we have left before we leave for Africa
- and how old we are.
Sixty-five. Or should I say 65? That's how old I am.
Sixty-five years ago today, in a small town in Wisconsin, my mother, married to a dairy farmer, was in the hospital going through what mothers go through to bring an eternal being into daylight for the first time.
It's just a number ... right? It's just a number that measures how many years I've been on this planet. It's just a day when dozens of your friends post "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" on your Facebook wall. It's just a day when your family has a party for you with your favorite food, sing the traditional birthday song to you, and express their love to you.
That's what people say. It's just a number. But, this number is more than just a number.
This number has a voice. It whispers, "You've lived longer than you thought you would! You are now old."
This number is a red light. "This is the time when normal people stop working and retire. You are officially an old person now."
This number is a green light. "You are now old enough to collect social security from the government. Oh, and you are now on Medicare too. That's the government medical insurance for old people."
This number is sure different from my perspective now than it was when I was in grade school, high school, college, a newlywed, and a young father. Then, sixty-five (65) seemed to be a title for people who were simply surviving, having no real redemptive purpose. It was rumored that they can't see well, can't hear well, wear dentures, smell funny, walk kind of funny, have strange bumps on their faces and either grey hair or no hair. Yeah ... those people were in a class all by themselves.
Today I join their ranks! I are one of them! And, I'm here to tell you that most of the descriptions above misrepresent this class of people. Yeah, some of those things are true, but 65 is not a time to stop contributing to society and surrender to being just a taker until taken to the morgue. It is a great time to reevaluate, assess, and keep being a giver.
|Jenny at work in Cambodia|
|Jenny with her proud parents, Cheryl & Dale Robinson|
I'm not ready to quit contributing just because I happen to be on this number of 65. Retirement is far from my mind. Pam and I have been like parents for our two oldest granddaughters for the four months we have been in the States. We are going to miss them as we return to Africa on January 14th. We are consoled by the fact that they are not the people now that they were eight months ago when we started living life together.
|Front cover of the dust jacket of my first book|
|Back cover of the dust jacket of Finding Family|