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.
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.
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.
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.