Don’t wait for retirement

Last Friday as I waited for my Jeep to be serviced, an elderly white man started a conversation about how cold it was in the building (it really was freezing in there). We then compared complaints about the servicing of our vehicles. My ‘appointment’ was at 5pm and here it is 7:10pm and tensions (well mine anyway) were high. He was there before I was.

I observed this man as he talked. He walk with a cane because of his noticeably, uneven limp. His shoulder was awkwardly uneven as well. With all of this deformities, he was in great spirits. He then told me the story of how his misfortunes happened. Everything was great, he retired from his job in 2017. About 9 months later, he had hip surgery. And because of the surgery it started a chain of events… from the metal corroding in his hip to the corrosion poisoning his blood. From leukemia, to a cyst rupturing, to 4 surgeries in less than 2 years… all after retiring. These are supposed to be his days to enjoy the fruits of his labor. These are the times when he should be enjoying playdates with his grandson. Now, it is hard for him to keep his balance or to walk a straight line.

He paused for a moment as he stared out of the window. Then he said, “I won’t live like this too much longer.” I said, “Ohhh, don’t say that.” He replied without looking away from the window, “Nah… I am a realist.” His response hit me like a bolt of lightning. 1) I say that very phrase all of the time – I am a realist. 2) It was an “AH-HAA” moment – a moment of reckoning, if you will. It was as if God was speaking to me through this man, a man I have never met before and probably will never see again.

I learned through him that I must not ‘wait’ to enjoy life. I don’t have to wait until retirement to do the things that I have always wanted to do. At one time when I was single, I used to be afraid to travel alone. But now that I have a travel partner (my husband), we both promised to visit different places if we have the opportunity. And I recommend all of my friends (solos and couples) to not hinder yourselves from enjoying this life God gave you. Because in a split second, it could all be taken away from you. Do it now!

As the old man walked away when he finally got his truck back from the technician, I couldn’t help but smile and be thankful for the reminder that despite all of the things going on in this world, life truly goes on. And we must take it upon ourselves to live like it’s our last day. From the window, I saw the man waved good-bye to me as he drove away. Thank you, God. And thank you for this man you sent your message through.

Until next time … be blessed!