What a 90-year-old Said to Me About His Birthday

blog_small_airplaneI used to attend an early morning all men’s Bible study.  It’s humbling to study the Bible with men of such wide-ranging age and experience.  There was one man in particular who captured my interest.  He had just turned ninety, but he was so spry and mentally sharp.  He was also an active aviator.  Imagine that.  A man who had flown in WWII who was still flying!  After the study, we munched donuts and sipped a second cup of coffee.  I asked him if he had flown on his birthday as he had planned to do.  This is what he said.

People have asked me what it’s like to turn ninety, and all I can say is that it just doesn’t seem like it.  In my mind, I’m not really any particular age at all.  I’ve been a lot of ages, ya know? I guess I’m still all of those ages.  The only time I realize that I’m ninety is in the morning when I shave.  And there it is:  ninety, looking back at me.

Oh, I’ve been flying planes since World War II and it’s not really that big of a deal, ya know?  People ask me what it’s like to be a ninety-year-old flying a plane.   And I just laugh.  It’s not any different than it ever was.  You take off.  You fly around.  You land.  It’s flying.   I don’t do it as often, I guess.  Yes, I did fly on my ninetieth birthday.  I suppose it’s something you can raise a glass to if you like, but it’s just something I enjoy.

Someone made a joke about lust and women and aging the other day.  He said, “Sure, Joe has lustful feelings about women, he just can’t remember what to do with them!”  I suppose it was pretty funny, but I just wish I had thought of something to say in response.  I wish I would have said, “Ya know?  You think you young guys have a struggle with lust?  But see, to a ninety-year-old, ALL women are beautiful and sexy!  All the way from eighteen to ninety-five!  Talk about a struggle!”  But, I’m not as quick as I used be, so I didn’t say anything.

We’re really fortunate, ya know?  My wife and I.  Oh, in four or five years, I suppose one of us will become incapacitated.  That’s just life.  But today, we’re not.  We’re doing just fine.  We really don’t have any worries…or I should say we shouldn’t have any worries.  We wake up and look at each other in the morning, and although we may not always say it, I know that she and I are both thinking the same thing.  Well!  We pulled it off again!  We woke up to another day! And so we live it.

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