Zero Birthdays

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If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.

Welcome to another Terrific Tuesday, where we take a look at God’s word, His kingdom or His people to see what we can learn about ourselves, Him and/or our relationships with Him.

Today, I want to take a break from my normal Tuesday routine and personalize our visit a bit. I hope you don’t mind.

For some reason, we all tend to make a big deal of zero birthdays. You know, thirty, forty, fifty, and so forth. We all seem to feel like we’re going over the hill when we reach these milestones.

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Since I attained the Biblical three score and ten today, I thought I’d talk a bit about age. I know, you’re still young and don’t worry about such things, but humor me. After all, I was young once myself, believe it or not.

When I was born, my maternal grandfather was 58. He’d had heart trouble for some time, and his health was pretty poor. My main memories of him were either lying on his bed or sitting at the dining table, after which he would return to his bed. He died just after I turned three.

Apparently my heart genes came from him. I had a heart attack just before I turned 52, and I’ve been a high blood pressure patient ever since. Toss in a bout with pericarditis and a couple of bouts with atrial fibrilation, and it’s pretty obvious I take after him in the health department—except for my diabetes. He never had that.

Why did he die at 61 while I’m still reasonably active and feel pretty good at 70? It’s the miracles of modern medicine—and I thank God for all that medicine.

My other grandfather and both grandmothers were in there early fifties when I was born. Pretty young nowadays, but not so much back then. I thought all three looked ancient, and when I look at photos from that era, I still think they looked ancient.

Undoubtedly, part of the reason they looked so old was that I was looking from the perspective of a toddler, but that’s not all of it. People in general looked a lot older in the 1940s than they do today. Again, modern medicine—plus better diet and exercise habits than they had.

It seems like everybody over thirty moans about age, but especially when hitting one of those zeroes. “I’m getting so old,” is a common comment, whether the speaker is 30 or 40 or 80. I used to think about that, too. I remember on my 40th birthday I felt like I’d lost something. Likewise at 50, but something has changed since then.

As I approached this number 70, I began to take stock of how my general health compared with that of my dad and my grandparents. My mother doesn’t count. At 96 she still doesn’t take as many pills as I do, so she’s an exception to everything. Anyhow, I began to realize what a blessing each new day and week and month and year is. Besides that, at my age I’m not expected to give my seat to a lady or stand when I shake hands with people.

The other day, when I mentioned my upcoming 70th at a meeting of my writers’ group, one of the ladies freaked out. She couldn’t believe I was anywhere near that old. I don’t know whether she was flattering me or had left her glasses at home, but it felt good to hear that.

As your next birthday, and the next and the next approach, take heart. Be glad. Enjoy every moment of it. That’s what I’m doing.

How do you feel about your age? Do you dread birthdays? Zero birthdays?

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For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

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About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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15 Responses to Zero Birthdays

  1. Congrats on the big seven-oh! At the rate time seems to go by I think I’m catching up with you. I think people eat a diet that promotes longevity these days. And with so many additives, it’s almost impossible to be vitamin deficient.
    Cheers!

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  2. susielindau says:

    I don’t dread them anymore. I am thankful for the years that I have and feel fortunate to have my health.
    Happy Birthday David! You don’t look 70 at all!!!!

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  3. Barb Estinson says:

    Great post, Bro. Naw, you and I look much younger than the calendar claims that we are. Occasionally I still hear that someone is shocked when they learn my age. Let’s keep fooling everyone!

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  4. Hope you have an awesome birthday, David. You have a great attitude and I’m definitely shocked to see your age – not that it’s that old these days. I just thought you looked a lot younger.

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  5. Men are so much simpler than women – if your husband baffles you, think what you do to him.
    Speaking of wrinkles, I never think of myself as old, but Saturday my wife and I had pictures made at a studio (my daughter’s been after us for years to do that), and when I saw them, I REALLY DID feel old. I’ve gotten over it though.

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  6. Sherry Isaac says:

    David, I agree about the snapshots of earlier eras, and modern medicine, but I feel, too, that our attitudes have shifted. I remember as a tween, all the hoopla over Joan Collins, gorgeous in her fifties. My own mother, younger then than I am now, was soooooo very much older than Joan, both in actual years, and in attitude. She was old, and wasn’t getting any younger, so she acted the part, donned the clothes, restricted her social life, and in so doing, effectively put the proverbial noose around her own neck. Shame.

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  7. Sharon K. Walker says:

    You’ve expressed my sentiments exactly. Have a grand day and a happy, healthy new year, my loving and wonderful husband. I love you beyond measure. ~ Sharon

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  8. My father turned 75 on 12.12.12. I can hardly believe it. In my mind he is ForeverYoung. I am 45, and I don’t love the lines that creep across my forehead and into my lips. Those bum me out. But other than that, I feel so much happier than I did even ten years ago. My son is a fabulous teenager, who is making great decisions every day. My husband is still interesting (and baffling) to me. And I have wonderful friends, in real life and in cyberspace. Congratulations on your upcoming b’day. I’m so glad that you are feeling fine and realizing all your dreams!

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