Every 365 days I get one year older. It's happened for the past 30 years, and yet each year I can't believe how old I am and wonder how it happened so quickly.
It's not unique to me, we all get older. However while I acknowledge my increased age every December, I somehow never remember that my elders continue to age also. In my mind, my grandparents remain 70 years old no matter how many birthdays they celebrate.
Sadly this past week I was reminded of this as a great family friend passed away. Once again, in my mind Howdy was 70 years old but the reality is, Howdy celebrated 85 years on this beautiful earth.
It makes sense. I've known Howdy my whole life and have tons of childhood memories that include his contagious belly laugh, his swimming pool that I swam in almost every summer and his always constant nickname for me, "Kelly with the green neck tie." He was a great man and will be greatly missed by his family and community.
I've said before that I don't love birthdays but not because of the aging. Do I love the growing amount of wrinkles each year? Of course not, but more than that I hate the reminder that my life and the lives of those who are so important to me, continues to shorten. In reality, my grandparents are not 70 but closer to 80 years old. I feel blessed to have them in my life and the lives of my children -most people aren't so lucky.
Growing older can be sad sometimes and while I wish there was something that could be said to comfort Howdy's family right now, there is only time. However it's important to remember to count your lucky stars every single day. Go out and live life with the goal of making as many memories possible & experiencing all the opportunities you can. At the end of the road it's what you'll look back on to determine the quality of your life.