Rejoicing that I’m still here

Daddy on his 80th birthday with his lifelong friend and fellow pilot,my beloved "Uncle Tuffy" April 2008

Daddy on his 80th birthday with his lifelong friend and fellow pilot,
my beloved “Uncle Tuffy” April 2008

“Getting older is the best thing that ever happened to me.  I wake up every morning rejoicing that I’m still here with an opportunity to begin again and be better.” 
Oprah Winfrey

A long life is a decidedly mixed blessing.  Those of us who make it to our eighth and ninth decades will do so enduring many losses: of our physical strength, of many of the people we love best, and of the world as it was for most of our lives.  Still, I appreciate Winfrey’s take on getting older, and I think it can apply to all of us, no matter our age.

What a gift it is to be alive and start a new day!  I have never seen this gift with more clarity than I do after the past six months.  I hope you will join me in resolving to regard life as the blessing it is, regardless of the pains that come along with it.  Today is a precious opportunity, one I am determined not to squander.

This post was first published seven years ago today. During that seven years, both Daddy and Tuffy have passed from this life, but their influence lives on in the many happy memories of their faithful lives and love for others.

The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    And here we are, on 08 June, 2020, a Monday morning, starting a new day and a new week.
    Yesterday, it was announced that Minneapolis is planning to defund the police department. I have no idea what viable options to having a police department would look like. Party of me wishes I lived in Minneapolis proper, as opposed to a surrounding suburb, as it would be so interesting to be part of that process.
    Yes, things do change as we get older, but it seems as if I age faster when stagnant.

    • I’ll refrain from commenting on the whole notion of a world without a police force, except to exhort people to study history closely. Lots of lessons to be learned there, the most obvious of which is the persistence of the dark side human nature no matter what well-meaning people try to do to “evolve” out of it. There’s a world of difference between reform and abolition, but those lines have been blurred in people’s minds. It’s not an either/or proposition between stagnation and anarchy.

  2. Susan

    This is a great picture! I see him in you. I know you miss him but am glad you have so many years of memories. Sending you a hug and a wish for a good week.

    • Thank you, Susan. If I did not look so much like Daddy, it would be easy to wonder if he was really my father. My three siblings all have the darker complexion, hair and eyes that go with Daddy’s Chiricahua ancestry– I’m the oddball fair skinned, light eyed one. Plus, all three of my siblings are named after Daddy or his family in one way or another. I have no middle name and “Julia” is not found anywhere in my family tree. BUT, the consensus is fairly strong that my face has always been as much like Daddy’s as it is like Mama’s — with obvious resemblances to both. So I am definitely his daughter, and yes, the memories are a comfort. Hope you are having a great weekend! It’s getting hard to keep the weekends distinct from the weekdays…

      • Susan

        We know a family in which the sisters all look very much alike in their features — a mix of the parents, extremely similar to each other. One of them though has noticeably darker skin, due to some Native American genetics that for whatever reason showed up more strongly in her than in either her parents or her siblings!

        My dad and his brothers all had a strong resemblance to each other, but my brothers looked more like my mother’s side of the family, so growing up I had cousins who looked more like my dad than my brothers did!

        Genetics is kind of fascinating. Another way God keeps life interesting 🙂 .

        • Susan, I agree! During a very brief (obviously delusional) period at the end of my freshman year in college, I considered switching my major to biology because I wanted to study genetics. My close friend (a pre-med major) and my mother were urging to do it, but baseball season started and I realized I’d never want to spend every afternoon in a lab until 6:00 pm as my friend and her classmates did, when I could be watching my beloved baseball team play in the afternoons as they did most days. Good thing, because watching Jeff finish his biology major and then go through four years of dental school, I saw that I would NEVER have made it! But my fascination with genetics has persisted. I got myself a copy of the book The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee, and I’m looking forward to reading it. The endless variation in humans, with so many millions of us and yet no two alike, is (at least for me) one of the most obvious signs of divine creation.

  3. Chris

    It’s been seven years, and some tough times for you. I truly hope that you can still appreciate each new morning as the opportunity that it is. You continue to be a great example of hope, faith and resilience to your readers. And, yes, resting is ok amidst the flurry of other activities you engage in. Have a wonderful day!

    • Thank you, Chris. I appreciate the encouragement! For pretty much my whole life, mornings have been a challenge to me. I usually wake up having to talk myself into getting out of bed (or resenting that alarm clock that forces me up earlier than I would have wanted, due to early appointments or responsibilities). I’ve learned that getting up and opening the window shade for a flash of therapeutic sunlight is always a tremendous help, and heading straight for the teakettle is a good way to start the day. From there, it takes no time at all to welcome the day and feel grateful for all the ways I have of staying busy with things that are meaningful to me. Among which are this blog and its steadfast visitors! Thanks for being here.

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