Thursday, October 22, 2009

Good Lord… I am OLD!

There are defining moments that happen in your life! Some are excellent and some are horrific. Some leave a warm glow and others well they cause nightmares – plain and simple.

Maybe you have had some too…

Remember your youthful graduations. Like the time you graduated from Public School Grade 8 to the High School Grade 9 – moving from the Little Kids School to the one where the Teenagers attend?

Maybe you remember the graduation from High School to College and University better?

Of maybe the one that the married folk will not forget… the day they walked down the aisle of a church and were married? That was some kind of special GRADUATION – wasn’t it?

There are those special moments when your life changes and you move on.

I would like to tell you about three of my own special moments… Two Good ones and One Bad one…. For which I am still adjusting…

First – I was 18 years old just about to graduate high school. I was down by the Lake in Regina, Saskatchewan – fishing on that warm afternoon. Down the shore from where I was standing was a younger boy of about 7 years old. He was casting his hook into the water the same as I was. His mother was sitting back away from her son reading. The son suddenly hooked into a fairly big fish… and was trying to get it a shore with great difficulty. I put my fishing rod down and went to help him. After a struggle of a few minutes he landed a 36 inch Northern Pike!

He dragged it up to his mother who was more than a little surprised. She asked, “How did you ever get that out of the water?!?”

The little guy replied, “This man helped me!” – pointing to me, Murray Lincoln the 18 year old… “A MAN” in the eyes of the 7 year old. Woah! The gentle pride swept over me – some one recognized me as a MAN!

Second – I was 30 years old and the brand new Pastor of the small congregation in Walkerton, Ontario. A new family had started attending the church. And at the moment I had arrived at their home to make a pastoral call… After knocking on the door it opened… and a little boy that was likely about 5 years old looked out. His mom called from inside the house, “Who is it honey?”

The little boy yelled back to his mom, “Mom there is a MAN at the door! Its for you.” Whoah – again the gentle pride – I am a Grown Up – a MAN at 30 years old!

Third – last night the BAD ONE took place. Hokey Mokey!

By a letter I was invited by my Doctor to attend a free Flu Clinic inoculation at his Medical Building. It was special for all the Seniors aged 65 years and over. So away I went… light hearted and ready to take part in this special day to protect my health. I parked the vehicle and walked up the hill to the Clinic with a bounce in my step. I am healthy and able to walk at least two miles each day, I ride my bike everywhere I can, and I am fit.

As I rounded the corner I realized that I was not the only one that would be attending tonight. There in front of me was the growing line of ‘walkers’ and ‘canes’ and stopped over ‘OLD PEOPLE’… shuffling along toward the door – a real SLOW RACE. It was like watching Caterpillars trying to be first. Old Men were shuffling faster than normal with Old Women tagging behind… then glancing back to see if she was coming on her walker.

I molded into the line and started the slow shuffle toward the waiting, beautiful young receptionist. There were 25 people ahead of me… man, woman, man, woman… the another man… then me… with NO woman. I was alone. My wife is TOO YOUNG TO BE INCLUDED in this Flu Shot Clinic!

Of the couple in front of me – the man turned to speak to me a complete stranger. The Old Guy was about 79 was my guess. He must have been thinking what I was thinking. He said, “My sister-in-law just moved here from Toronto. She was with us one day while we were shopping. She said, ‘I can’t believe it! Peterborough is a City of OLD PEOPLE!’ I looked at her and said – ‘Well now you are one of them!’ ”

My new unexpected friend looked at my through his wrinkles and waited for me to laugh at his story. I grinned kindly and gave a small, “Humph!” in agreement.

I was in total shock now… I was shuffling like the OLD PEOPLE – slowly toward the needle lady – young vibrant – alive… and smiling.

It was at that moment just before the needle lady called me forward… I realized to my absolute horror… “Good Lord… I am OLD!”

The needle lady greeted me kindly. “Have you had the flu shot before SIR?” “Yes..” I muttered. Her odd look told me that was suspicious of my state of mind.. and wondered if I was okay.

I wanted to scream out loudly – “I AM NOT OLD! I AM JUST HERE BECAUSE I TURNED 65 YEARS OLD and my Doctor said I needed to take advantage of this shot before I got sick… I AM NOT OLD!!!!”

I muttered my appreciation to the young lady that poked me… and shuffled out of that horrible place filled with Old People!

18 – 30 and 65 will never be forgotten. They were turning places in my life… when I became much, much, much OLDER!

BUT – Good Lord… I am NOT OLD!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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