I didn't know he could play the guitar!

I didn’t know he could play the guitar!

Maybe it started when I was a little kid. I loved to play games as a boy and I had this wonderful Great Grandmother (who remembered the Titanic, the Wright Brothers, and WWI—among many other fascinating things!) We’d play dominoes, and drink soda and giggle together. Perhaps it grew as my Dad took me to those “awful” nursing homes where people sit and stare, smell funny, and seemed all alone in the world? I felt for them. But I also found many of them to be delightful persons I would grow to call, “my friend.”

Yes, “I love old people!” There, I said it. Good thing, too, because I’m fast becoming one. To my sons I already am. More and more of my friends seem to look like I remember their parents (or even grandparents). Without a premature demise we are all “old people in waiting.”

Now this doesn’t mean we have to act old. We need not feel compelled to have extended conversations about bodily functions while standing in the aisle at Walmart. We can try our best to avoid saying “Why, when I was your age…” But hey, if we break down and demonstrate how decrepit and out-of-touch we are, please forgive. We paid our dues and we earned it. We’ve been around long enough to have made plenty of mistakes. Many of us have actually learned things from those errors. It just might be that that doddering little old lady could be a tremendous resource to that youngster who’s keeping his distance.

Grandpa could make a harmonica talk.

Grandpa could make a harmonica talk.

Yes, the older I get, the more I appreciate the grace that it took for these heroes of mine to become the wonderful “old” people that they are today. They are the passing generation who endured the Great Depression—the victors of WWII. These young men and women were looking forward to life—only a “moment” later to look around and find that their journey had almost been completed.  In Proverbs 20:29 it says “…gray hair is the splendor of the old.” We would be wise to learn their lessons drawn from their years. They deserve our honor.

Speaking of honor…long ago I began to paint this oil of my Grandpa, William Earl Pack. Never finished it. Miss ya Grandpa! See you again where our hope is found!

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