I say it out loud. Fifty. I've been around for as long as I can remember. Yeesh, that's a long time.
My turning fifty marks the end of probably one of the most well-chronicled cases of midlife crisis there ever was. I've written this blog for the last two years. I've been embarrassingly self-focused and narcissistic as I've struggled to grow up in middle age.
I've joked about all the foibles of growing old in mind and body. But beneath all the humor, I've done a lot of searching too.
My journey through midlife has had all the five stages of grief, but not necessarily in this order: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
I'm to the last stage of acceptance. I know people say, "You're only as old as you feel." "Age is just a number." "You're only 50; that's not old." Yada, yada, yada.
But truth is, I am getting old. So are you. No one's getting out of this alive. We're getting closer to eternity every day. It's foolish not to consider what comes after this life.
|Lars, my big bear of a brother|
I was alone with him just before he was taken to surgery. It was surreal. The doctor said there was a high rate of mortality for him. In plain words, he was saying, "You could die."
It was unthinkable of life without Lars. We all depend on him so much. He is one of the greatest men I know. He is a humble man of integrity, having a heart for the Lord and for people. His life exudes the character of Christ.
As they wheeled Lars out of the room, I told him that I loved him and that he had nothing to lose. He gave a little wave and said, "Well, see you here, there, or in the air."
God spared him. But, really, God spared us from the grief of losing him. Lars' faith has been in Jesus Christ. He has the assurance of knowing where he's going after he dies. He has lived his life in light of eternity. He truly has nothing to lose.