The photo below is of me exactly a half a lifetime ago ….. today.
How do I remember this? Well, simply put, because it’s written on the back of the photo. I have a vague recollection of the event, it’s more like a dream where you know something happened, but can’t provide a lot of details.
As I was looking at this photo, I kept wondering …… what happened to this young, carefree guy that had an entire life ahead of him?
I don’t even recognize him now!
There is some gray in that hair now, some (many) wrinkles and deeper furrows in the lines of the face, the mustache is all gray & white. The weight is pretty much the same, at least within ten pounds. That shirt long ago went to the victims of some unknown hurricane.
Of course, there’s some scars. There’s scars from living through life’s ordeals that have faded, there’s four feet of scars from my sternum to my ankle from my heart issues and my heart transplant. These too have faded.
On my birthday, in 1963, John F. Kennedy was assassinated. It was a day I will never forget. Etched in my memory forever. I still have a great number of books in my library about his death, the conspiracy and the “patsy” Lee Harvey Oswald. What I would give to know the total truth.
The principles and ideals haven’t changed a lot. Nor the desires.
My faith is stronger than ever and I know the power of prayer works. I’m more optimistic than pessimistic, usually seeing the glass as half full.
I have grown up, perhaps more guarded than I was a half a lifetime ago. But, I am more thankful now, than ever in my life. My heart donor taught me that.
As you search for the meaning of life or your destiny all you have to do is take a long look a half a lifetime ago. Many things become more clear.
Have I learned the “lessons of life”? I have learned many, but not all of them. Life continues to evolve. But, I have seen that the pace is much slower now than it was for me thirty years ago. Of course, I’m a bit slower now, than I was then as well. I am also maybe not as patient. Life is too short, we have to make every day count for something.
Have I found my life’s path, my destiny? I don’t think we’re ever sure if we’ve found “life’s path” or our true destiny. But, I think I’m on God’s path ….. I do know there’s a reason I’m still here, still alive. I’ve truly learned that reaching out, helping others is more important than so many other things in life. Life is not about ME, it’s about US …….. we all need help at some point. we all need hope at some point as well. I like to say I’m not in management any more, I’m in the “Hope” business.
Being close to death did change me. It opened my eyes to life.
Today, many people will tease and torment me about my age, about how old I am. And, that is their prerogative. But I’ll tell you, age is truly a state of mind. I can be a whiny three-year-old when I want to be. I can also feel like I’m sixteen or twenty-five on occasion. And the day after a strenuous workout, I can also feel eighty-five. As I told my friends at my heart transplant dinner last week ……. in regard to my birthday and my age …….
I’m not older, I’m simply more thankful today!!
Thank you, to all my friends!!
PS: To my anonymous donor and my donor’s family. My special thanks to you and my continued prayers for allowing me to see today. Be well and may God Bless you and yours ALWAYS!! The borrowed heart in my body is a daily reminder of you, my HERO!!