Last night I got one of those phone calls I always dread: My dad is ill and in the hospital. He’s normally the strong one, the healthy one — when I was a kid, I was 40 and he was 8. But he’s sick now. Very sick. I’m figuring out when I can get over to Atlanta to check on him and I’m thankful for my sisters, who have once again been able to be there.
Getting older is not for sissies. (no actual sissies were harmed in that comment).
Walked up on a group of friends yesterday and they were talking about a friend of theirs who is dating a man who is “much too old to be dating their friend.” Of course, the “old man” is my age. They had no idea how old I am — and frankly, I’m in better shape than people ten and twenty years younger than me. But it smarted. It was a gut check and made me aware that the gray hair on my chin is not a fluke. The years are catching up with me.
Of course, I am blessed that gray hair is above ground. I could have died at the age of 32 from cancer. Instead, I have been blessed with another 13 years of life on Earth. In that 13 years, I have seen two more children born, watched my wife get more beautiful, was a Pulitzer Finalist twice, watched my career radically change and learned that some of the worst moments can lead to the best.
I pray my dad responds to treatment and gets better. And I can’t wait to go see him. I selfishly want more time with him.
Phone calls like the one I got last night remind you that time is your most precious resource. You should spend it wisely. No matter how “old” you are.