It’s the eve of my 70th birthday. I can’t remember how I got here, but here it is. Age is but a number, I’ve heard. A BIG number (laughing to myself).
But not here. Here at “The Villa” I’m a kid. Daily I nearly get mowed down by 90 year olds, scooterless, walker-free adults who apparently can’t count and are intent on just living. Who knew a 104 year old could boast a very snazzy hairdo and not succumb to white hair Afro perms?
70. Seems like just yesterday I was trying to convince my parents that at age 11, I was a teenager, since – in my mind – I just wrapped up my first decade, and it seemed logical I should be in another 10 years as a teen. I fought with them for the next two years until they realized I had been right all along, and I allowed them to call me a teenager.
I had so many dreams of what I could be, would be. When I was a Mercy-ette I was sure I would be a nurse. Or a Carmelite, following in the footsteps of St. Therese of Lisieux, my favorite saint; or maybe a Sacramentine sister after attending a retreat at their convent near Petoskey. But mostly, since I was 3, I wanted to be a wife. And a mother.
The route getting there took awhile and had some twists and turns, but it happened. While the marriage was short, my life has been long in blessings, having given birth to four amazing children, watching 3 of them grow into beautiful, funny, and smart adults, who in turn married. Giving me seven – yes, 7! – grandchildren. Wait. 7 1/2 grandchildren. Yup. There will be 8 of them in August.
I have more sunsets than sunrises ahead of me I suppose. But as I teeter on the precipice of my next decade, I can smile. Just as I made it as a teenager, now I’m about to accept the honor of being a Septuagenarian. Feels pretty satisfying. And damned lucky.
Thank you Papa, for giving me enough extra time to meet my growing family, to find new friends and to still be able to recall all my old Pals. For deep, rich memories. For having a very happy Birthday. –It’s me, Vicki