LeRoy Collins Commentary 259

Commentary #259
3 January 2009

The Winter of Life

I did not write this subject of my commentary, but many of my friends could have. At my age (74) we are seeing many contemporaries become immobile…. and die. My mother is 97, blind, physically limited, and increasingly confused. Two of my sisters live in the same town with her and dutifully oversee her care on a daily basis. Mom is becoming less lucid, eating less, and losing awareness; now that DOES seem like Winter.

Unlike the article, and despite my age, I do not see this as the Winter of my life ...maybe the Fall,...still with a glorious panorama of colorful leaves. With all four of our children within a 4-mile radius (along with 8 grandchildren),...with me still meaningfully employed on a daily basis,...still able to row (scull) 10 miles in an outing, and swim 1000 yards without stop, and bicycle several miles each way to row,... I am very fortunate. I attribute much of this happiness to our children closeby and them involving us on a regular basis in their life experiences...both good and bad ones.

The National and International scenes are a different matter. These are the scariest times of my life. I wanted to help prevent some of it and lead a workout for some of it, but much of that political opportunity has been lost (by me). It will be interesting to see how others deal with it. I hope I shall still be available to help my family and others through these tough times ahead.

/s/ LeRoy Collins, Jr.

Blue band divider with stars

It's winter before we know it....

You know, time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.

It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. And yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all...

And I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams... But, here it is..the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise... How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my babies go? And where did my youth go?

I remember well.. seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like... But, here it is...my friends are retired and really getting gray...they move slower and I see an older person now. Lots are in better shape than me... but, I see the great change... Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant... but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore...it's mandatory! Cause if I don't on my own free will...I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so, now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!!

But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last...this I know, that when it's over...its over....Yes , I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done ,,,,,things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done. It's all in a lifetime....

So, if you're not in your winter yet...let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don't put things off too long!!

Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not!

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life...so, live for good today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember...and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!!

"Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one."

LIVE IT WELL!! ENJOY TODAY!!!!
DO SOMETHING FUN!!! BE HAPPY!!!
BE THANKFUL!!!

Blue band divider with stars

/s/ LeRoy Collins, Jr.
www.leroycollins.org


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