one woman's story.
When I turned fifty I remember friends helped me celebrate and sing some silly tune
about turning old and gray. They gave me presents tied with black balloons. We laughed and enjoyed our birthday cake, wine and song. We were happy and never depressed; basically we were young and light-hearted. We thought we should pretend we were anxious but it was a ritual that was fun and far from serious or maudlin.
Our birthdays throughout our fifties and sixties were honest attempts to gather friends and family.
We noticed a difference in our collective behaviors in our late sixties and in the beginning of our early seventies. We were still full of laughter, yet there was a slight hint of serious statements by age seventy, like a shading of a painting in its final stages.
One friend suggested gathering for lunch more often, and added, "you just never know."
Another friend said, "make hay while the sun shines, don't wait until tomorrow."
Our cadre of friends began to say "I love you," before ending a conversation.
At Sunday mass we listened to the letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians,
7:29-31: "...Time is running out." The reading rang loud like church bells. My husband
As I approached my seventy-fifth birthday I fell into an age-related nadir, a serious slide
into a preoccupation of limited time. The word " time" kept creeping into my mind, like a
worm in an apple, always uncomfortable, permeating my inner balance.
How did I untie the knots of negative thoughts? I did what many do: I looked around at
others around me, listened to their conversation.
Then wham, that's when I saw Bobby Vinton, age eighty(his bio via a Google search), walking around in shorts with a bounce at the Venice ( Florida) airport without a cane.
I had lighthearted inner talk with myself: Bobby V. is 80 and I'm five years younger also
without a cane. At that moment I remembered dancing to his Roses Are Red and Blue Velvet in 1962-63: happy hours, happy times.
There will always be those who are younger in age and others older. If I am happy in my
own skin I will cherish my memories and look forward to each day with a song in my
Thank you Bobby Vinton for being at the Venice airport on January 24, 2015. On that
day I was reminded that we can be sad or we can inspire others. I plan to send a letter to Bobby V., tell him how much I loved dancing to his songs.
Barbara Reese January 2015
(Our thanks to Barbara for sharing her memoir so that we, too, might share in her wonderful outlook on life.)