Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: HEALTH (10/13/16)
- TITLE: Turning Sixty
By Robyn Harbour
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
I was not having a big party as my husband and I were missionaries, living in a third world country. Instead a couple of girlfriends joined me to celebrate at CHILL, a local restaurant that was popular with tourists. The menu was reasonably priced and the tables had a great view of the boats coming in and out of Vila Bay.
Between courses I plucked up the courage to admit my fear. ‘I am not feeling very good about this birthday’ I confessed. ‘I feel like old age has crept up on me and from now life will go swiftly and bring age related health problems with it.’
‘Robyn,’ my friend Kay said, ‘Be thankful. How many people do you know that never made it to sixty?’
‘Well let me think, there was Lois, she died from Breast Cancer at 41, Julie was 45 when she succumbed to Cancer. Lauris had a stroke at 47, the second stroke at 49 left her with ‘locked in syndrome’ and she died at 51. Two of the teachers I worked with at school died in the same year, Cheryl with ovarian cancer at 52, and Judith’s heart gave out at 49, she died in her sleep. My brother-in-law died of lung cancer in his early 50’s and he had never smoked. My sister in law developed dementia at 52 and has deteriorated rapidly.’
Kay looked me straight in the eye and said ‘Be thankful that you are 60 and still in very good health. Many people do not have that privilege.’
Four months later Kay had a massive heart attack at 64 and was air lifted to New Zealand, then back to the US. Her husband packed up their home and that was the end of their overseas service.
I am now about to celebrate my sixty-eighth birthday, and never a day goes by that I remember to thank God that I have lived another day, and ask him what he wants me to do with it.
I approach old age with joy, I am in good health physically and mentally. I plan to make the last years of my life, not matter how many or few, full of meaning. If life throws me a health curve ball in the future, so be it. I will confidently say; I don’t know about tomorrow, but I know who holds my hand.’
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