Birthday Eve, a Personal Holiday

On the cusp of old age, I thought I ought to ponder what took me 80 years to get to this day. I have scars and metal bones to show for the journey, but they aren’t nearly as important as all the blessings. I had a marvelous childhood with two parents and my older brother who is still in good health. We went to church every Sunday, grounding us in an eternal view of life. Husband John died only three days before our 58th anniversary, and what a fantastic life we led! This Southern country-town girl lived with him in Queens, on Long Island, and in England before moving to the mountains. Our children, three rich blessings, call me frequently from New Jersey, Washington State, and Denmark. Beloved grandsons are in the same state, one living with me and one three hours away. I look back now and can see God’s hand was guiding me all the way.

I don’t know why old age begins at 80 for me. Maybe it’s because none of my parents or grandparents made it to 90. John’s mother made it past that number. An interchange between her and John has become part of our family lore. John was in the habit of joking by saying, “Old age is a terrible thing.”

Mom heard him say it and challenged him. John replied, “If you’re not old at 90+, what are you?”

She replied immediately, “I’m in advanced middle age.”

Brilliant! We have laughed at it for years, while admiring her indomitable spirit.

I was trained to teach music in school. Practice teaching taught me that I’d rather be in a room full of spiders than to be in charge of a group of students. Although we have fantastic teachers in John’s family, teaching genes were not in my makeup. My calling came a few years later when our church needed an organist and choir director. That lasted 25 years, and I retired with no regrets. Concurrently, I was the secretary for an accounting firm. It was satisfying to be part of a team delivering the best service we could to our clients, mostly not-for-profit organizations.

I avoided music, so God sent me in a different direction. Writing became a passion. I found I’d rather write than eat or sleep. I can no longer see music to play it, but computer screens allow me to read and write. What blessings God sent me!

I have no idea whether I have days or years left to live, but I long to be a blessing to the wonderful people in my life. If you have the same leanings, praise the Lord with me, wherever you are. Eternity beckons!

87 thoughts on “Birthday Eve, a Personal Holiday

  1. Birthdays are just a number for the years God has put us here to do his work. You, my dear, are doing wonderfully and yes we all miss John but so very glad you are here. God’s continued blessings on you and for your family.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m sure I’ll be writing until my fingers no longer know the keyboard. If I’d begun writing about blogging friends, I’d still be working on that post. I’ve enjoyed your sharing your new life, one that I could only imagine. How rich in friends we are!

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  2. You have indeed lived a blessed life and continue to do so. There is always so much to be thankful for and I believe that’s the secret to a youthful spirit. You look amazing, the result of a life well lived. It’s the complainers that grow old. xo

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  3. I second everything the others have said and want to add my bit of personal wisdom, age is just a number, you’re only old if you want to be! Happy Birthday early, may you have many more to come! Keep writing, walking, singing, and praising His holy name! 🎂🥰🙏

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I have a story for you. My brother who is now 92, was 88 when he and his wife were involved in a horrific car accident. He did ok but she almost died. She was hospitalized for 8 weeks and when she came home, I tried to get him to use his long term care insurance plan to bring in some help with washing and dressing. He told me he was saving it. I asked what for. He told me for when they were old. I almost split a gut laughing. You are doing very well my friend. You have a great life with a wonderful family and neighbors who care. We should all be so lucky. Happy birthday. I think you are entering late middle age!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I remember your writing about that awful accident. I laughed reading that your brother was saving insurance for when they are old. Hilarious! Thanks for sharing that. Made my day!

      I shall have to think about entering late middle age. I think I’d rather call myself old while feeling young than the other way around.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I use the “old card” a lot. It’s my excuse for not doing anything I don’t want to do (or maybe not as fast as someone thinks I should). I embrace it. Not everyone makes it that far.

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    1. Thank you, Margie. We’ve known each other over a long period of time. I wouldn’t want to pull you away, but I wish you were one of my neighbors. I’ll have to be content with your being part of the extended family that means so much to me.

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      1. Wouldn’t that be fun I once rode in a hot air balloon. Would love to do it again. Between you and I we can extend the holiday season with your birthday cake today and mine on Jan 5th. God bless you too Anne and I’m looking forward to hearing about your cake.

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  5. May you live forever here on earth! You are such a gift — it’s not possible to describe. That conversation with Mor Mor was not one I’ve heard before. How very her! Made me laugh. I think you should make it a goal to at least hit advanced, advance middle age. Thank you for your writing and all that you are. You are very loved. Hope your birthday is filled with all the best. I love you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m surprised you never heard that story. We talked about it frequently. John was highly amused, and the older he got, the less he said old age is a terrible thing.

      I appreciate your love because it is mutual. You make my life so very rich. Thank you. I love you, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear friend approaching advanced middle age, hoping to avoid that roomful of spiders….you are most blessed, and highly favored by your Creator. Bask in that on your special season day.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Why am I crying over this post? Please continue to LIVE with the boundless love and grace that you bestow in your every day LIFE !! You are a dear, sweet and special friend and I can’t wait to see what adventures we here at 107 Tibi Lane have yet in store together !!

    Happy Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Anne, have a joyous 80th year and more! You are a delight to read, and so wise. I loved reading your short bio, I hadn’t realized that we share so many similarities in our life paths. You are a blessing, May God bless you today and in the days to come. We shall enjoy making music together in heaven some day!

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  9. Happy Birthday! There is nothing left to say other than a lot of folks see you in the same way, and there is much to be said for that level of consistency! You look especially radiant in the photograph, and it captures the beautiful aura that surrounds you when you smile…which of course means you have an aura all the time apparently. I like the way it is said in Spanish: Tengo ochenta años, which literally translates to “I have 80 years” although the meaning is I am 80 years old. If one has years, then one also has all that has come with it, which developmentally increases the likelihood of greater wisdom, compassion, and action for the general welfare of others in the world. I think you are developmentally right on target for the years you have!

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    1. I heartily agree with you. I feel very close to many blog friends. John and I felt an instant strong bond with you and Mary Agnes. That grew even stronger as we continued writing.

      Merry Christmas, and may God bless y’all richly in the coming year.

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  10. Happy Birthday to a beautiful soul! My dad’s birthday is today, too. (12/22). My folks were married just shy of 55 years. I love reading about your adventures and life. You know how some people glow with happiness when they speak? You glow when you write. What an honor it is to know you, through writing for several years. You have been a pillar for me this year, with your kindness and stepping up beside me through these 9 months. I appreciate you more than you know. Happy 80! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy happy 80th birthday! It’s been such a pleasure to have you as a “cousin-in-law” all these years. And your blogging encouraged me to start mine, so you are an inspiration. Have a great day, and we’ll have to do another FaceTime some time.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Many many Happy returns of the 80th birthday 🎂.may you have more to come, My friend.
    We all miss John but so very glad you’re here. Blessing you and for your family ☺️. I pray you have many healthy years ahead of you on here earth 🌎.
    Happy Christmas 🎄!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I never think of the age of people who seem forever vibrant and young. You make me laugh, and you exude happiness with that wonderful smile of yours. You find grace and peace and enjoyment in each day. You’re an inspiration to me. Keep being a wise youngster… it suits you well!!

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  14. That was one special birthday post and I really like this photo of you Anne. You look to be the epitome of happiness and I’ll use you for a poster child on how to live life at age 80.

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  15. Happy Birthday Anne, a little late, but heartfelt just the same. That is, I think, the prettiest photograph of you I have seen in all these years I have read your blog. Blessings to you in this week after Christmas, and all through the year in 2023. Kathy

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  16. Anne, your eyes sparkle when you smile. Belated happy returns. I would say you are officially in the Autumn of your life. Old age is 100+ years. By the way, you must have good genes with so few wrinkles in your face. I too was blessed with those genes. God has given you a wonderful life too. Hugs and blessings in 2023. oxox

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    1. I love that — being in the Autumn of my life, my favorite season. Your definition of old age is excellent, too. My dad and both grandmothers lived to age 88 and 89.

      I’m not sure about genes and wrinkles. I think fat has kept my face rather smooth. I giggled, anyway.

      Many thanks for the hugs and blessings. oxox

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Autumn is my favorite season too. Both my grandmothers lived to 89 as well. Your sense of humor has helped you remain young and young at heart. Be well, Anne. You have such a positive outlook on life too. oxox

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        1. I marvel that the are people who have no sense of humor. Pitiful. I’m thrilled to know people like you who keep me smiling. 🥲. (That emoji came up for smiling, and I thought the face was shedding a tear.). oxox

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Laugh so hard you cry? All sorts of the emoji these days! How do people with no sense of humor make it through life? Must be very dull. Then again, everyone has a different sense of humor. Even in other languages. What they may find funny just befuddles others. oxox

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