On my last birthday, I realized that I am now the same age my maternal grandfather was when he died. I counted the days from his birthday to his date of death. Today is the same number of days since my birthday. So today, I am exactly the same age that my grandfather was when he died of lymphoma in Sloan-Kettering hospital.
It is a sobering thought. My grandfather ran a farm. After Pearl Harbor, he joined the Army and fought in World War 2. When the war ended, he went back to farming and he also took a job as a prison guard. He worked his way up until he was the associate warden of Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. He was eventually offered the position of warden of another prison, but he chose to take early retirement, instead.
I don’t remember my grandfather ever being sick. One day, my grandmother sent me a letter in which she mentioned that my grandfather had a chest cold. Somehow I knew it was much more serious than that. Less than two months later, with the best of medical care, he was gone.
When I was a child, my grandfather seemed invincible. But he has been gone now for forty years. And today, I am exactly the same age that he was when he died.
Life goes by so fast. Without faith in the Lord, how could we bear the thought of our own mortality, and the mortality of everyone we love?
PS. I am reposting the picture of the wild Barbary Sheep that I took on our street back on March 17, because somebody killed him. I was told they wanted his rack to hang on their wall. So sad.
I like to try to look on the bright side of things. So, here’s the bright side: I am alive, you are alive, and the world is full of wonderful things that aren’t dead. So I am going to have an awesome day. I hope you do, too. 💘💘💘
Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. My grandparents lived in the big warden’s mansion that’s pictured in the foreground, because the warden had his own home in town.