When Do We Get Old?

December 12, 2015 — Leave a comment

When I was a young man, not too many years ago, I never ever thought about being 71 years old. I guess we all think we will be young forever and now that I am approaching another birthday I have been thinking about what it really means to be old. I have told many folks that in my opinion middle age is from age 65 until you can’t walk any more, then you’re old. So, by my definition I am still middle aged and hopefully have a long time before I am old. However, there are days when I wonder!

My Dad died 25 years ago; he was 69, his mother died when he was 14. A year later my son Ron died, he was 26. Those two tragic events have brought death and aging and life in general to a much different perspective for me.  However, my mom is 93 and her parents lived in to their 80”s which for their generation was pretty old. My mother’s two sisters lived to be 95 and 101. So I have no way of knowing which genes I have. We never know when our time will come! We cannot foresee what the future may bring but we can’t let those events control our lives. We must live our lives to fulfill our own dreams and desires.

I have had a good life. Not great or earth shattering, not even enough for Google to make note of. I have a loving wife and 2 really unique kids that I’m extremely proud of and 2 step kids that who are really pretty special also! We also have five really special grand kids, to us anyway with another due in February who has the boss in a tizzy of anticipation.

I had a wonderful career at Allison/Rolls-Royce that provide for my family all that we needed and then some. The boss and I have had some bad times but mostly a lot of really good times and I hope they continue for many more years. Our 20+ years raising and showing our Miniature Schnauzers allowed us to make friends with folks not only from the four corners of the US but from all over the world. I indeed miss the dog show world but it was time to move on to what I think are better ways to spend our time and money.

When we moved here to the reservation it brought a wonderful feeling of peace and tranquility knowing that we would not become a burden to our kids and grandkids. Just knowing that we would always have a place to be taken care of is a very soothing feeling. I hope you all can come to that place in time that you know everything will taken care of and you will burden no one except those whose charge is to take care of you. It is a wonderful wonderful feeling that lets you sleep very well every night.

So, three weeks ago when we celebrated Thanksgiving it was obvious that my list of blessings was so long that even “Word” would not maybe have enough pages to list them all. I am so thankful for my life and all the blessed things that come with it that I can never thank God enough. I also try to find ways to help those who are not quite so blessed. As we approach the Christmas season I ask that those less fortunate find a way to a better life and know that it is difficult for them to consider that they also are blessed.

Knowing that in the not too distant future I like so many here on the reservation will indeed get old. If I am able to help just a few of those not as fortunate as we are then old age won’t be so bad.

To quote Betty Davis; “Old age ain’t for sissies”
Thanks for listening.

Richard Isley

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