She wrote “I’m older than I ever dreamed I would be. And my life’s lessons taught me   many things.”

When I read this last week, I sent her a note, saying this is  a perfect line to open a novel.

Then I told her I was going to steal it.  Writers and wannabe writers do that sometimes.

I’ve known Jennifer since elementary school.  We graduated high school together.   She was one of those smart girls that always sat in the front of the class. She became a teacher of English and writing in a  small school in South Mississippi.  Her students adored her.  She’s retired now.  She still writes.

I enjoy reading her articles.  She writes articles for a couple of publications. Her words  touch your heart.  She writes with tones of compassion.   She paints pictures with her words. The verbs and subjects match.  I bet she  still remembers how to diagram a sentence. I never could. She doesn’t leave dangling participles. 

She inspires me to do better, to keep trying. That’s why I’m stealing her sentence.

I hunt and peck to put a few words together.

Back to  “being older than I ever dreamed and learning lessons in life.”

By the time we reach our sunset years, we’re thinking about  our age, what we learned, what we didn’t know, what we did, what we missed doing.  Then there are the close calls, the highs, the lows and the mistakes we’ve made.  We all have those days when we’re so scared we can’t sleep at night.

They are all lessons we learned along the way.

Then we wake up one day and suddenly we are older than we ever dreamed we would be.  I remember wanting to be older  the summer before I get my driver’s license. Back when I got my drivers license, you had to be fifteen years old.  I was driving on country roads when I was thirteen.  It was a long, long two year wait.  I dreamed of that fifteenth birthday.

 I wish someone had told me how I was wishing my life away.

Did you really want to be 10 years old?  What about  18 or 21?  Did 30 scare you?   It just happens.  Slowly, one year at a time, then it’s “Whoa!  How in the world did I get here!”

One of our sons just had his 39th. Birthday.  He still thinks being forty is old.  He’ll learn soon enough.

I had to work on my fortieth birthday.  Just another day at the office.  I think we went to the Western Sizzling for dinner that night.

My wife surprised me on my fiftieth birthday.  I will always remember that party.

I can’t remember what happened on my sixtieth birthday.  I hit retirement age  like a freight train headed south. 

Today, it’s high speed in my seventh decade.  Now I’m trying to look forward, while spending a lot of time thinking about the years behind me.  I’m sitting here this morning,  thinking we just had Christmas and it’s already October.

I, too, am older than I ever dreamed I would be.  I, too, think about all the lessons life has given me.

Thank you Jennifer.

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