Recently my mother was attending a show. They called a woman in the audience to come on stage as it was her 95th birthday. She excitedly got up from her chair and with surprising agility climbed the steps. They then began to play her favorite song. With a lot of enthusiasm, she sashayed across the stage as she enjoyed her special moment. A few weeks later my mother was attending another show at this same venue. A woman in the audience got up and commented that it had been her friend, whom they had honored. The 95-year-old woman had told her after being on stage that that was the best day of her life. The next day she passed suddenly and was gone. I marveled at the way this woman’s life had concluded. To have one’s best day at ninety-five, just seemed so wonderful and precious to me. And to remain in good shape until the end and to then pass quickly and painlessly just felt so right.
Shortly after hearing this story, I was riding in an elevator with a much older gentleman, who was hunched over and had a cane. He looked like he was well into his 80’s and he appeared to be very feeble. I asked him how he was doing. He replied hesitantly, “O.K.” and asked me how I was doing. I said that I was fine.
He said emphatically, “At your age you should be fine!”
I smiled and said “you are right”. As I got out of the elevator I pondered this moment. I thought about the truth of what this man had said. For him every step is a challenge. His health is obviously precarious and at this point, he is unlikely to improve to any great extent. I have my health and while I am no longer in my 20’s, I am in good shape and still have a lot to look forward to. I often think that it is important to appreciate what you have while you still have it and not just after the fact. While most of us would agree that we would like to be dancing happily until the day before we pass, very few people are fortunate enough to have this experience. That is why it is good to be grateful for all of the many blessings we do have while we still have them.
I hope you will count your blessings each and every day and that you will be an inspiration to the rest of us by living a long, healthy and happy life.