Musings of the Chronologically Challenged™ Fourth Generation
Monday, April 28, 2003
Old Is When - - -
Seems to be a lot of chest-beating and P&Ming from bloggers who lament they're "getting old". Many of them are parents of very young children, and unless they waited until they were ancient to have kids, they don't know what really "old" is.
Old is an outlook on life more than a number. I'll bet you can think of someone you were in high school with who was "old" even then. I can. Some unfortunate (and frequently unhappy) folks have never been young at heart. Maybe it's young at heart, maybe joie de vivre (forgive my French!), but I find that making "a joyful noise" every day, and giving thanks that I am able to do so, helps me keep a younger outlook.
Old is when you can remember the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and wondering what war was when the adults said, "Oh my God! We're at war." Remembering comments of young married people as the concept of families torn asunder began to sink in. Sitting quietly, hearing President Roosevelt's "Day of Infamy" speech, live on the radio. Not even the shuffling of feet was allowed. But when everybody learned that "all we have to fear is fear itself" the tension was relieved, because Americans were united and fear was not an option. (For an Indigo WW2 recollection, see Sunday, 1/5/03 - scroll to "History Project")
Old is when you can recall the sadness adults expressed on hearing of the death of Ernie Pyle. They knew this Pulitzer Prize winner through writings about the war. I only knew his name through the adults. I now know what a great journalist and hero he was. He died at the front on Iwo Jima, April 18, 1945 with US Marines. For additional information on Pyle and samples of his gut-wrenching essays, check out the links here.
Old is when you watch History Channel on television and don't see much you can't remember, unless it happened before WW2.
Old is when you remember the Korean War, not as a "Police Action", but as a time of great sadness and apprehension when my love was facing the draft.
Old is remembering the terror of Viet Nam and having a draft-age son to fear for. Remembering returning veterans being spat upon by the radicals of the time; knowing one of these vets from Little League, when he had two legs. Being an eye witness to the Civil Rights Movement, but not quite comprehending its significance until I could look back on it.
I could go on in my reveries, but hopefully my "young" 40 and 50 year old fellow blogging friends are getting a perspective on where I'm coming from by now. Old is when you can look back over 68 years and be thankful and happy for the many blessings in your life. That is chronologically old, but spiritually young. And that is ageless.