I was very young. So young I don't know when it was that I first heard the famous saying attributed to an old German, "So soon old undt so late schmart."
How true that famous saying is!
I turned 78 in the wee morning hours of October 10. It's been a long and stormy journey from that inauspicious beginning in the guest bedroom of my grandparent's home out there on those wide-open North Dakota plains. It's had it's joys and fulfillments and it's pains, turmoil and sorrows.
I've known the bursting energy and forever optimistic soarings and passion of hormone-fired youth. I've also known the insecurity of aged legs that feel insecure on a downhill slope and have wondered, "where did all that testosterone get off to."
I've known the despair of having a career come to a crashing end along with a marriage to which I had given my utmost dedication and faithfulness. I've experienced the overwhelming joys of second and third loves. In addition to divorce, I've known widowerhood after several years of marital separation.
I've experienced soaring joy and devastating depression. I've known lack and the joy of financial prosperity brought about by my own dedicated labor.
I've known so many things, so many emotion-filled tumultuous times.
Mine is a unique story mainly meaningful only to me, but so like what every other human faces and goes through on this journey we call "life." The details of each life are different, but we all travel a similar path.
We start out with a wail as we are suddenly thrust forth into this strange, cold and insecure realm. We travel our path and experience what comes our way and what we bring upon ourselves. And, every day, the end draws more nigh. The days become even more precious, and often we even reflect on what could have been but wasn't.
The "soon old" has arrived.
The "schmart?" I hope so.