Oh how we hate to admit to getting old. We do everything we can to avoid it. We lie about our eyesight and buy the cheap cheaters at the drug store instead of going for an actual eye exam and getting prescription glasses or worse yet bifocals! As women, we indulge in wrinkle creams for our eyes, necks, face, etc. and of course we color our hair to cover up the gray. Even men are in on the anti aging market with products such as, "Just For Men". Do we not realize what a privilege it is to get old? To grow old with the one you love?
TJ's life ended at the age of 49. He didn't have the privilege of growing old. I don't get to grow old with him. When I see an elderly man in the grocery store or at the gas station I frequently think of TJ. What would he have been like if he had grown elderly? Would he have been like the grumpy old man I saw in the grocery store the other day? Would life had dealt him some blow(s) to turn his happy go lucky attitude into disdain for his fellow man? Maybe. But, I think he would have been more like the elderly man I chatted with at the gas station just a few days ago. He was filling up his truck next to me and we immediately struck up a conversation. We talked about the weather and other mundane things but when I drove away I felt as though I had just made a friend. TJ always made people feel that way. Everyone liked TJ and his zest for life was contagious.
Growing old is a gift; something we should not be afraid of. Yes, I believe it is a privilege, a privilege that too many are denied.
Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read. - Francis Bacon