Jun

1

 The strangest thing about being the oldest person in the world is that on the day you were born there was a completely different set of people in the world than there are today. Shortly, the entire cohort of humans on earth on the day of you were born will cease to exist.

Another odd way of looking at this: Very soon there will be no humans on earth who were alive in the 19th century.

Here's another: Chances are, we are very close to running out of humans who have come into physical contact with people who were alive in the 18th century.

Why do I mention these things? I used to work in a nursing home back in the mid-1980s. There were a lot of people in that home that were born in the 1800s. We had several residents who's father fought in the Civil War.

The residents used to talk to me about their lives and the things they experienced. More than one told me about the fleeting nature of life and how quickly it goes and how they never understood when they were young how quick and precious life is.

One lady told me about how when she was very young, she was sitting on the knee of her great grandfather who was born back in 17-something (1790's probably…I don't recall) and how he told her about how his body was old but he still felt like he was young. She remembered him telling her how fast he got old.

He told her about his father (her great great grandfather) who had him late in life. He told her stories about his father had fought in the Revolutionary War.

As a man in my early 20s at the time, that story really hit me hard. Here I am speaking with a women who was hearing a story about the Revolutionary War…something that seems so distant to as to be almost incomprehensible…yet this women was only one person removed from the person telling the story.

How quickly time passes. If we measure history using war as the benchmarks….All those that fought in WWl….gone. Within a decade or two, everyone who fought in WWll and Korea will be gone. The Vets who fought Vietnam…the war I grew up watching on TV…are now getting old.

As I get older, I believe I am better understanding the preciousness of life…and just how short it is. I can remember my first day of Kindergarten (that's a story for another day…but let's just say that I got sent to the principals office within the first hour of my first day of school).

I remember my first kiss, I remember winning various sports championships, I remember getting married and the birth of my children…all seem like they just happened…but in reality, it happened in a place that will eventually be lost forever in a time that has passed.

I wonder what the next 50 years will be like…and I hope that I'm here to enjoy them!


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