Seventy

Threescore and ten. As of a few days ago I can happily tell you that 70 doesn’t feel as old as it sounds. And yet it is a mark well noted.

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. (Psalm 90:10, KJV)

Seventy. I’m impressed with my age, and grateful too. I hope to keep it that way. Labour and sorrow recede and come again, no matter the age. They mingle and blend, merge and contend with ease and joy. We would not dare wish it otherwise.

For the last year and a month Stormy and I have been living in Durham, North Carolina to be of assistance to our son Jason who was slated for a lung transplant. Jason’s health has improved here in North Carolina to the point where his transplant has been put off into the distant but still-unpromised future. That’s all good, so much good that it makes every day glow. Jason and his family have had a good year. As for me, now reflecting on the year as the topper for my seven decades, it’s fair to say that it has been the best year yet.

While we’ve been here we have met some wonderful people in the program at Duke University Hospital, and shared in some glorious triumphs with new friends. There have been some tragic outcomes too; it’s a risky business and lives are at stake. Labour and sorrow.

2015 70th bday group pic (3)For my big seven-oh, the celebration was a family affair. Our son Joel came out from Colorado, which was pulled off as a stunning surprise to me. Jason invited some special friends from the transplant “family” — two successful transplantees and their caregivers — for a celebration dinner. One branch of that family, Polin (seated, center) and her two sons (Avi and Yacov, left) were in town this week from Israel for a checkup on Polin’s new lungs. The other special couple (Celeste and Charlie, right) are in the recovery process with Celeste’s transplant, hoping to return soon to their home — also in Colorado.

Shaky but upright. Lake Overlook, NC

In the afternoon we played in a lake with the kids, I tried stand-up paddleboarding for the first time, and we all reflected upon how fortunate we are to have each other and such good health. Then there was dinner and afterwards hush dim the lights candles and everyone singing that song, of course, about bird days.

Mboyz with the Great White.

My boys on the lake with the Great White.

So yes, we’re moving “back home” where we’ll be with others in “the large and happy family that Stormy grew up with” as well as Joel and our Colorado grandchildren. Though we’ll miss the frequent contact with Jason and his family, and the Duke lung transplant family, we realize that we have been enriched beyond measure this year in North Carolina. We’ll be back to visit, often, and again to help if we’re needed.

Seventy. Yes, I’d like some more, please.

14 thoughts on “Seventy

  1. Beautiful post, Bruce! Wishing you a very happy birthday with many more such memories with family and friends in the future. I’m so happy and honored I get to call you my friend! My only 70-year-old friend. 🙂

  2. Loved seeing you, and I’ll forever remember that surprised look on your face! 🙂
    Love,
    J

  3. Yes, the big 7-0! Happy birthday, and hope that you have many more happy years. It is a time for reflection and acceptance of what our bodies deny us as opposed to what our mind wants us to do. I had my 70th in January then a surgery on a meniscus tear in May…am on the mend but am reminded to slow down a bit.

    Hello to Stormy!

  4. Happy Belated Birthday Bruce! So glad that you, and your family were able to celebrate together. 70 is a mile marker an should be celebrated all month, if not all year! I enjoyed reading your letter (blog?) as I love the way you write. It’s’ always a special treat to see your name in my inbox.
    I’m so glad you will be able now to stay at home in CO. Hello to Stormy….Hope to see you soon!
    Love ,
    Roe

  5. Happy birthday Bruce! What a beautiful post! I will miss you and Stormy when you go back to colorado. While this has been such a difficult year for me and still waiting for that transplant for Gregg I try to look for the positives. One of the positives from this is meeting you and Stormy. You are a couple of the kindest people I have met here in durham. You and Stormy have helped me so much while I have been here just by joining me for lunch and listening. Your kindness will never be forgotten!! Hopefully we will see you on one of your visits here or when I visit my son in Colorado!!

  6. You and your family will be in our hearts always and forever!! You all are wonderful lung buddies and we love you all dearly!! Wishing you all nothing but the best!! Prayers and hugs!!

  7. Was wonderful to help celebrate your big “70 bird day”, with your amazing family and friends. Looking forward to many more visits when we get home to Colorado.

  8. Bruce, I loved you more before I found out that you are YOUNGER than me. Sigh. Alright. I’ll let it go. It’s great to hear from you, to hear about your family, and to read your written words. I guess your life will be different when you get back to Colorado. Love to hear about it then, too.
    Love to you and Stormy,
    Judi

  9. So, somehow I missed the fact that you had a birthday! It sounds like it was great! So, I’ll send blessings for a peaceful and calm move back here. Make sure you watch the live feed from Mile Hi, on Sunday. We will be singing Total Praise, and Hazel Miller is guesting. Then at 2:30 p.m., we will be hold a “gratitude concert”, with Hazel Miller as guest. We have learned new songs, just for this concert, my “older (68)” brain, has been replaying the songs, in what is suppose to be my sleeping time! Can’t wait for Sunday, so I can not be consumed by learning the words. I heard that there probably be a recording, of the concert. I so wish you and Stormy could be here in person, but in due time.
    Sending my Love to both,
    Cindy

  10. It’s YOUR birthday and We get the gift!! We’ve been so in awe of your support for your family and we know that it will not be diminished by your move back to CO. Now, I’ve never thought about bird days and that’s a very good idea that I think I will adopt as well. We’re grateful for each and every one, regardless of what it’s called, and we’re certainly grateful for yours as well. Happy belated bird day – we’ll be seeing you soon! Love to you and Stormy! Have a safe move back!

  11. Welcome back Bruce & Stormy. Your presence was missed. Love your writing and good humor. -John Goodrick

  12. Bruce, what a lovely post. Good job on the SUP! Very very impressive, big brother! Safe travels back to your other home.
    Love,
    Susan

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