The Gift of Growing Old

I watched one too many friends bury parents this year.

I watched one too many friends bury loved ones this year.

We wept together. Remembered together. Laughed together. Reflected together.

And those were just the funerals I attended - for there have been too many people whom I know and love and admire who have experienced great loss this year. Too many to count.

And on this Father's Day, I can't help but think - growing old is a gift.

It was one of the first shows I ever produced, and an audience member found out I was 28. (I'm 30 now, by the way.)

Don't ever tell someone you're that old, she said.

Don't ever tell someone I'm the age I am?

Really?

Are we that afraid of growing older?

Terry. Robin. Katie. Sam.

Nobody made it to 65.

Maybe that sounds old to you all, but trust me, it's not. I mean, you can't collect social security before then! 

It feels as though they were robbed.

And yet, we continue on.

But we forge forward looking at life a little differently. We celebrate each and every year. We shout the milestones from the rooftops. We choose family and friends over work. We appreciate the beauty of a sunset, the ease of walking without trouble, a nice glass of wine. We soak in the sounds of laughter from those whom we love the most. We stare at the blue sky a bit longer, and marvel how the sun sparkles when hits the water of our favorite beach.

We put down our phones. We listen more. We laugh more. We love harder.

We remember the ones whose lives were cut too short.

We remember that every day is a gift.

We celebrate every wrinkle, every day, every minute that we get to soak it all in.

Happy Father's Day to my father, the best man I know. To the fathers of those who I know who've raise some of the best men and women that grace this earth - your children are undoubtedly making your proud. To the fathers who step in when others have walked out, to the mother's who rise up when they have to, to the villages that raise children, this day is for you.