My 80 years have been an Odyssey, a long journey full of surprises, always changing and evolving. It took a long time for me to learn to go with the flow and to understand that in this life I will never understand everything and moreover to realize that it is OK not to understand everything. It is only necessary to accept what has happened and that, what is, is the only reality there is. I am grateful for my life and believe it has been fruitful. I am grateful to be still relatively independent at this stage in life and yet realize that we are never really independent but that we live only with the help of others and live only to help others. I have come to believe that this was God’s plan in creation. He does not need us but He needs us to need others and for us to help satisfy the needs of others. I have found that happiness is found in satisfying our basic needs and not in grasping for unnecessary wants. In my relative independence I have not become a burden to my relatives and it is my hope that I never will. Having said that I do not begrudge life to those who have become a burden to their children or others. It just may be the their reason for living is but an opportunity for others to practice their care and love, for them to sharpen their skills in this regard. Again, it is one of those things of which we lack understanding but of which the purpose will be revealed when we arrive at our heavenly reward.
I said that my life has been an Odyssey and that is true of all lives. An Odyssey is an adventure not a planned vacation where everything is perfect. There are boring parts, difficulties and even disasters intertwined with peace. accomplishments, great and small, along with triumphs and great joy. To leave out any ingredient would be to try to bake a cake without one of its ingredients … a failure, flat or tasteless. It is also a time of learning and growing in both wisdom and faith. But to learn anything one must have an open but discerning mind to seek only truth and that which is wholesome and good. One must be willing to discard errors and bad habits in an effort to grow strong and upright. One must also learn to be tolerant of new and strange things even to the point of embracing them when proved to be good. And so I can truthfully say that my 80 years has been an Odyssey and an adventure. There have been surprises at every turn some of them absolutely astounding. At this juncture I find myself very happy and content. I am at peace with the world and with God. That in itself is a balancing act that is difficult to achieve but I feel I have made it. I am ready for whatever is to follow for the adventure continues