Just the other day, I went to my second orthopedic doctor appointment for my foot that’s healing from a double fracture. While getting checked in, an elderly woman was brought to the registration desk next to me in a wheelchair. I then overheard the gentleman with her state the woman’s general information per check-in requirements, “I have Irma here for her appointment. Her birthdate is 7/21/21.”
I stole a quick glance as I didn’t want to seem rude, but I was shocked as I took in that this woman just turned 99-years-old! She was beautiful and healthy for her age—no tubes or an oxygen tank for breathing.
She was wearing a grandma-like, soft purple sweatshirt embroidered with flowers, stretch pants and gray comfortable tennis shoes. She wore simple silver wire-framed glasses that lay neatly on her perfectly pointed nose.
I turned to her then and warmly commented that she recently had a birthday—and then I wished her, “Happy Belated Birthday.” At first she didn’t hear me, so I repeated the words trying not to say it too loudly while keeping the proper social distance between us as well. Despite her mask, once she heard the words I could see her smile in the heavy, wise eyes beneath her glasses.
After we both took our seats to wait for our turn to be called I overheard her comment to the gentlemen with her, “Boy, have the years flown by.” What a great reminder to enjoy the present moment and soak up this current season of life—no matter what the challenges we face.
Samuel Johnson, an 18th century writer said, “People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.”
I know this is one of those life moments where the universe was reminding me to take it all in. At times like these it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the heaviness of today’s latest news headlines or, let’s face it, our daily mom to-do list. Instead let’s take the road less traveled and remember that, in an instant, you, too, may be 99 years-old looking and back on your life. Soak in the joys of this present moment, make memories worth remembering, and take advantage of all that life has to offer.