Eighty…

It’s past time for me to write about turning eighty years!

My birthday was on Halloween Day. IMG_2420                    But I feel I must get my feelings out in writing. This was a difficult birthday!

Yes, I turned eighty! I don’t feel eighty! Some folks have a hard time turning 30, 40, 50… I had no problem with those years. But 80…! I remember when my mother turned eighty!

Friends tell me I don’t look eighty! But maybe they’re just being nice! I don’t feel eighty… Hmmmm! What does eighty feel like? I don’t know…I’ve never been eighty before! IMG_2375 I’m holding a month old Husky puppy! This is the latest picture of me and was taken on my eightieth birthday. No, the puppy was not a birthday present or any kind of present! He/she is not mine! Although I would love to keep  him/her! My niece invited me to visit and hold the new puppies!

I do get tired and worn out easily. My hair is almost all white, there’s still some gray in the back. My hair is thinning!!! Help! Jerry and I don’t drive at night any more. I’m buying frozen dinners for us to eat several nights of the week!

Our children…are pictured at the top of this page! We have five and none of them live near us. Only one lives in Michigan! The others live in Illinois; Sask., Canada; New Mexico; and Georgia! But they are taking charge!!! Pam moved us down from our big, beautiful bedroom upstairs to a bedroom downstairs! Tim drove us to South Carolina to a grandson’s wedding. Ted, Christy, and Rob are all in agreement that we shouldn’t drive outside of our town!!!  We’re all in contact often. What?! Is this eighty?

I actually had three celebrations for my 80th birthday! First one, planned by one daughter and two daughters-in-law, was in South Carolina the day before my grandson’s wedding! IMG_2016 (1)    The second was our small group, we are members of, when they surprised me! IMG_3455                                             The third was dinner at Lucky’s Steak House with Jerry! It was my first time to go there! Both of our steaks were cooked to perfection! He gave me a beautiful Nativity set to go with my collection. IMG_2360 (1) So you can see I had a good  birthday. So I should be happy…!!!

But eighty? I’m not ready to be old!

One day a realization came to me. I have loved ones who have already died: parents, sister, some close relatives, some close friends. Favorite Bible characters: Joseph, Daniel, David, Mary, Luke, Timothy, John, and many others! I’ve always looked far ahead knowing that someday I’ll join them. Well, someday is getting closer! I won’t have quite so long a wait! That’s a good thing! Something to look forward to!!!

I do have longevity in my genes: Dad – 96, Mother – 99, Aunt Bessie – 102, Great-uncle Will – 101, and maybe some others I’m not aware of. I guess I’ll just live one day at a time and one year at a time. When my time comes I’m ready. I’ve asked Jesus for forgiveness and to live in my heart, so I know where I’m going when my time comes. I’ve been born again! I hope when your time comes that you’ll join me!

“What a day that will be…when my Jesus I shall see! When I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace…”

 

Cousin LJ

I was a little girl when I first got to know my cousin, LJ. He was already a man. I probably saw him before he was married, but I don’t remember. I do remember his brown, thick, wavy hair!

LJ was in World War ll. Scan_Pic0054  Thanks, LJ!

I do remember him after he was married. We were living in Oklahoma and were visiting family in Iowa. LJ and Ermadel were newly-weds. My mother, being a wise and patient woman, talked to us children, before we arrived at our grandparents house: “LJ’s wife has a birthmark on her face. You’re not to stare at her. You’re not to ask what it is. LJ loves her and the mark doesn’t matter to him. So just remember that when you see her.  She’s a wonderful person.”

I learned two things that day. 1.)  I learned what a good man LJ was! He loved Ermadel for who she was and probably didn’t even see the flaw on her face, even though he knew it was there. 2.)  I learned what a loving and wise person my mother was! Preparing us ahead of time saved a lot of nervous embarrassment for LJ and Ermadel, and for us.

There is something else I’ve always remembered about LJ. He always smiled at me with a tender, loving smile! When I think back, all those years ago, that’s the main thought that comes to me! I would shyly smile back. Today, I think he probably was thinking and hoping for a little girl to be born to him and Ermadel! A few years later, Iris, and then Keith were born to them. I think LJ and Ermadel must have been very loving parents!

LJ’s dad and my dad were brothers, making LJ and me cousins.

My parents became born-again Christians when I was about two years old. They were the only ones born again in both of their families and were very often ridiculed by their siblings. But in 1948 LJ made a life-changing decision to live for Christ. A special bond was formed between LJ and my dad.

Years went by and LJ and I hardly had contact with each other, but being cousins, we still had that bond between us. A couple of years ago another cousin, Erma, died, and my daughter and son-in-law, Pam and Gene, drove Jerry and me to Iowa to attend her funeral. Who else was there? LJ with his daughter, Iris. We’d not seen each other in years!

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Then last year we had a cousins reunion in Iowa. LJ and I had a time, just for the two of us, to visit and reminisce about our lives. I told him about his smiles when I was a little girl and how much they meant to me. He didn’t even remember! But I do! FullSizeRender (78)  I took this picture of him during our little visit. He was 90 years old!

There was a sign on his door of the nursing home he was living in. LJ's door sign  I was surprised to see the date of when he was born-again! I don’t know why I was surprised…after all, that’s the most important date in a Christian’s life! LJ died on November 23, 2015 at age 91. I’ll see him again…some day!

This is a picture of LJ and Ermadel when they were married 50 years. LJ & Ermadel 56 years