Middle-Aged and Lovin' It!

Monday, April 13, AD 2009

This is something I wrote up to put out on facebook to get some attention from former students- to give them a head’s up, and to give them hope for the future- if they give their lives completely over to our Lord. Here goes:

Middle-Age Surprises

I recently turned 46, and I’m surprised by how good it feels. I spent a lot of time in my youth worried over getting old, picturing middle-age domestication as a kind of spiritual death of hope. Man, did I have that backwards.

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5 Responses to Middle-Aged and Lovin' It!

  • A beautiful reflection. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child, but suspect you are right to suggest it is an avenue of grace and growth.

  • 46 Tim? Try 52 on for size! By my standard you are still a kid. Oh well we are only as old as we feel. Some days for me that is around 28, but I also I have days when 84 seems the appropriate age!

  • Jonathan- there is something in the grief of a child lost in very early stages of pregnancy that I would imagine is more than a bit different from losing even that same child very late in the term, and especially sometime after birth- it isn’t that one can avoid grief because we believe that a life began at the beginning- the fertilization/conception, but when something happens early into a pregnancy, there is a sense that nature is playing her role. For something to happen that quickly, one can believe that this child really stood no chance of survival, and it stings less when you have only imagined what that child would have looked like, or imagined holding, hugging and kissing that child. There is a great hole in the universe, but when I contemplate losing one of my three children here with us now- it is an unbearable thought- only God’s grace could pull me through- with Talitha, there seemed that ‘severe mercy’ in “her” passing, so quickly- the mercy being perhaps for us- for my wife, just like in a full-term pregnancy the physical burden is truly hers as much as I’d like to enter into that with her. And just like with giving birth, the loss in a miscarriage is really experienced to the core by the woman- and her grief has been more intense than my own- I’m sure that’s why. The fact that it happened earlier rather than later seems like the severe mercy- and the fact that our son was conceived and is here now at this time would not be the case if Talitha had made it through. The children are amazing in how they have embraced this lost sister, it is like second nature for them to draw pictures of her as part of the family- with her in heaven. They ask about her sometimes and it really helps to give straight answers, and not have to lie- which I imagine would be the case for those who don’t believe in heaven, or believe that life begins at conception. For us, the child-like faith is real, my daughters and I connect spiritually over Talitha, and over what is to come in our future when we start passing over into the heavenly realm. We pray for Talitha and we ask her to pray for us every night. We just have to trust God with all of this- where else can we turn- to paraphrase Scripture. There is God and there is cause for hope, or there is no God and thus no hope. I choose life and hope, and faith is the link to both.

  • I like your post.

    Though only thirty, I’ve been passing for early middle age for several years. (Having four kids helps.) Somehow when I turned 30 last year the news leaked out at work what age I was, and there was general disbelief as I’d been giving the impression I was “in my thirties” for the last five years. I could never understand why people were so down on middle age. Having got there early, I intend to stay a long time.

  • Would never under any circumstances return to so-called good old days. I wear the paunch, the baldness, the sixth pair of bifocals proudly. Assembling a pictoral autobiography for another program- Landmark Wisdom Course, dontcha know. Found a treasure trove of kiddie pix. Many sports photos of course- will certainly include our beloved Harry Kalas who passed away before Phils-Nats afternoon game in press box. Even music- could not conceive of 1967 without Sgt. Pepper or ’73 with Roe V. Wade. Found humongous pic of Second Vatican Council bishops underneath rotunda. Will provide ample tribute to my dear saintly Irish grandmother and heroic uncle/missionary priest. Then get on to the next adventures. Thanks be to God.