It is a blessing to be able to get older

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 13, 2011

It’s official. I am now 52 years old. Maybe it’s just me, but it sounds so much older than 51. It’s OK though, really. I don’t mind talking about, or revealing, my age. My youngest child, Victoria, used to hate to talk about her age. For several months prior to her sixth birthday, she insisted she was already 6 years old. One day, after I corrected her and reminded her that she was only 5, she ran to her oldest sister and pleaded, “Monique, Momma thinks I’m 5, but I know I’m 6. I’ve been counting my birthdays.”

My husband does not enjoy talking about age. I’ll never forget a conversation we had many years ago. It was one month after I finished chemotherapy. We were celebrating his birthday when he glumly asked, “Don’t you get depressed about getting older?”

“Depressed?” I shouted. “I’ve been fighting for the past year for the privilege of getting older!”

No, I’m not depressed about getting older. I’m 52 and even if I would for a minute try to deny it, the mirror and the many pairs of reading glasses I have strategically placed throughout my home, would scream otherwise. I’m so thankful that I didn’t die at 33. And if getting older did sadden me, I would never tell that to my sister-in-law, whose nephew lost his battle against chicken pox when he was only 4 years of age. Nor would I tell my dad, whose friend’s son died during his high school football practice. And I wouldn’t dare tell the mother of one of my students whose husband, the father of her seven young children, was killed. The list of people whose lives have been tragically cut short is endless. I refuse to complain about getting older; it’s a blessing.

I want to squeeze all of the life that I can out of each day of the additional years I’ve been granted. I’m determined to live this life to the fullest. There are no ordinary days for me; every day holds something extraordinary if I just open my eyes and look for it.

Whatever your age, celebrate, and celebrate the ages of those around you! I love the children, for their energy and enthusiasm invigorates me. I love the young adults. In

them, I see parts of my past, and I am flooded with memories of life when Monique and Geoff were my babies. And I especially love those who have journeyed on this path of life a little longer than I have. They know where the road may twist and turn and where the potholes may lie. If I stay close and glean from their wisdom, I am sure to learn something.

May God grant more years to your life and more life to your years.

Ronny may be reached at