Friday, April 10, 2015

"Happy Birthday Mom"

My mom turned 100 on April 1, no April Fool’s! We held a birthday bash for her this weekend in Ohio, where she lives with my brother and his family. It was quite a time, a grand and glorious reunion with lots of laughs, some tender tears of joy, sharing of stories, and a ton food, surpassed only by the number of hugs and kisses.

No one knows for certain why some people make it to be centenarians. I suppose it has lots to do with your family tree, healthy eating, exercise, and the lucky roll of the dice. I came across an article titled, “100 Ways to Live to be 100”. Some that topped the list were:
  •  Be Conscientious – in other words, approach life with a healthy balance. Good advice, but hard to do at times.
  • Laugh – the Bible says, “Those who sit in the heavens, laugh” and it seem like those who have a love of laughter on earth seem to live longer.
  •  Go nuts- I found this a bit “nutty” at first, then I realized it was talking about eating nuts.  Why, according to one piece of research, people who eat walnuts have a 39% lower risk of early death. Who knew?

If my mother had been interviewed, she would have said, “Drink lots of tea!” From the time I was a little boy and took notice, my mother always had a cup of tea in her hands, from morning to night. Even to this day, she soaks the life out of a tea bag and is never far from her cup of Tetley.

I don’t think we will ever know why some live longer than others, but regardless of our age we can all take a page from the Psalmist, “O Lord, teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.” (Psalm 90). What matters most is not the longevity of our lives, but how we have lived them. Did our days count for something? Did we create good memories along the way? Did we do our best to make the world a better place?

The number of candles on a birthday cake doesn’t matter as much as the number of people we have loved. In many ways, the good life is not the longest but the one best lived.

All of this makes me wonder, “How am I spending my days?” How about you? What do you think makes the good life?

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