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The Columbia Press

Columnists & Other Opinions

Senior Moments: Time to consider leaving a legacy

Emma Edwards
By Emma Edwards, Thursday, May 30, 2019

Almost 50 years ago, my father-in-law passed on at the age of 68. We all stood by and said he had a good life, so God rest his soul (or something like that).

We thought he was old enough to die and now, many of us have “kids” that age or older. Oh, yes, times have changed.

I have learned, by somewhat accurate government-related research, that by 2060 nearly 100 million Americans will be 65 or older. Think of it, the senior population is projected to double during the next 40 years. And, yes, that does affect you and me.

It’s called legacy. I know of a church group that has changed the name of its 65-plus senior group to Legacy.

It’s commonly thought that one could divide the first 100 years of one’s life into four seasons, much like the passing of a year.

Obviously, the cycle begins with spring, from birth to age 25. We take root and begin to grow, influenced by our surroundings and the tender (or not so tender) care of our caregiver or parents.

It seems that, without warning, we wake into the summer of our lives, which lasts until we are 50 years old. Some feel that’s when they’re the hottest, just as summer has the hottest temperatures. In both vegetation and life, when temps spike too high there are heat waves or droughts that cause trouble for people (as well as animals and plants).

On to the autumn of our lives. Sometimes, summer overlaps or winter arrives earlier than anticipated. Basically, temperatures cool and many plants become dormant. As with gardening, we begin preparing ourselves for the coming winter.

We begin to give a smidgen of thought to our legacy. In people seasons, autumn could last until we are 75, depending on whether summer overlaps or we are ushered into an early winter.

I liken winter to the last 25 years of our lives. Yes, I know spring could come earlier than planned, just as winter could last longer.

I have asked God to let me stay on planet earth until age 103 or so. Of course, that’s up to Him. We’re still here during the winter of our lives because God is not through with us yet. It makes sense! Winter can bring darkness and cold and we need to wrap exposed water pipes and cover some plants and seek shelter ourselves.

No matter the season, there can (and will be) troubles.

John Wayne gave us a good solution, regardless of the season we’re in: “Talk low, talk slow and never say too much.”

For those of us in the winter of our lives, let’s think about our legacy. How will you be remembered?

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