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The Privilege of Turning 74

Today is my birthday. No, it's not one of the "big" ones -- such as those ending in a 0 or 5. Still, this one has weighed on me extra heavily in the last few weeks. My sister reminds me often that aging is a privilege and blessing, something our mother, who died at 55, did not get to experience. So, with that in mind, I'm writing this blog to myself as a way of reminding me of how much life I've been granted so far and how many blessings there are to be counted.

  1. When you turn 74 in 2024, it means that you've lived through more than 7 decades, you've crossed from one century to the next (1900-2000) and from one millennium to another. Y2K, anyone?

  2. I'm a card-carrying Baby Boomer who had an idyllic childhood in the 1950s, a time of innocence, conservative values, and a close-knit family. I remember our first television set, catching tadpoles in the creek, turning in Coke bottles and buying popsicles with the change. Simpler times. Good times.

  3. I have now celebrated FIFTY Mother's Days as a mom. This past Sunday I didn't see a single one of my children in person, but I got a call from my son before he stepped up to the pulpit to preach, I had a long hour and 10-minute, newsy chat with my firstborn after church, and my youngest, who I joke is "too busy being a mom (to 10) to remember she HAS a mom," found 40 minutes for me on Monday to buy me a donut and talk between appointments for one of her children. Hey, I'll take it. All three of them were with their families in church and are doing a superior job of parenting. What more could a mother want?

(This was taken the week before Mother's Day when we made a quick trip to Rome, GA. to see Laura and her family).

(This was taken the day after Mother's Day when Julie and I had a fast 40 minutes together. By the way, I really do have more than one top to wear).

4. I've gotten to celebrate 53 anniversaries with my Silver Fox, and I love him more with each passing year.

5. I have outlived my parents, my in-laws, and a host of other relatives and friends who will greet me in heaven and help me find my spot in the celestial choir.

6. I enjoy the company of my brother and sister and love our weekend email threads sharing all our news and touching base.

7. I am in a great Sunday School class full of friends who share a similar stage of life, a choir that is as close as I'll ever get to being in the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, and a loving, forward-thinking, mission-minded, Christ-honoring church that encourages and teaches me.

8. If any of my grandkids want to ask me about historical events, I can tell them about the Cuban missile crisis (who in the world thought we'd be safe from a nuclear attack by crawling under our school desks?), John Glenn's orbit, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert, and Martin Luther King, Jr., Watergate and the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon, the explosion of the Challenger, September 11, 2001, and many others. Plus, plenty of Auburn memories starting with having 40-yard-line seats for Pat Sullivan and Terry Beasley's senior year.

9. I have a birthday mate. Granddaughter Margaret turns 17 today. We enjoyed a day together yesterday of manicures/pedicures, German food, shopping, and indulgent desserts. I love that she wanted to spend that time with me.

Margaret looks very much like her father's side of the family, but somehow she managed to "catch" a few of my genes. We share a love for music (particularly piano music such as Beethoven and hymns), good food, travel, shiny things, and bright lipstick).

Margaret is a dedicated piano student who can play all three movements of the Moonlight Sonata, as well as many other great pieces.

10. I have a GREAT grandson who is nine months old, and if I live until August, Grandchild #16 -- to be named John Mark Rodgers -- will arrive.

11. I have my health. Now, to be certain, a few parts of my body remind me of the number on my birth certificate when they start to ache, but I am of "sound mind," and that is a HUGE blessing.

So, Connie Pearson, you have the privilege of turning 74 today. You have nothing to whine about, only blessings to count. You get to watch your children thrive and have a ringside seat as your grandchildren become amazing human beings who will no doubt change the world. Besides all that, Steve has spoken my "love language" by making dinner reservations at one of my favorite restaurants tonight. It's all good.

Ecclesiastes 7:10 -- "Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions."

Isaiah 46:4 -- "Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."

Job 12:12 -- "Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?"

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