Reaching age 75 gives pause for reflection

November 19, 2018

I suppose I should call this column “On Being 75.” I hit that diamond mark last week. Those married 75 years celebrate their. diamond anniversary. Seventy-five appears to be linked to diamonds.

A few decades ago, turning 75 seemed to be as monumental as turning 100 or more these days. My mother died at 49 and my father passed at 62. So, in my youth I didn’t expect to live to be 75.

But I made it. And I received more than 250 happy birthday wishes on Facebook. Most of them were from friends who follow me because of my running commentary on President Trump who, I believe, is about to hit a wall. What wall? Indictment? Resignation? Impeachment? Amendment 25? I don’t know, but something profound is afoot.

Still, I have a few friends who don’t agree with my anti-Trump philosophy. But we are still friends. And they, too, wished me a happy birthday.

My old body, like the “Ol’ Gray Mare,” ain’t what it used to be. I have an artificial hip and an artificial elbow, of all things.

I walk with a cane or a walker. My equilibrium, like my body, ain’t what it used to be either.

The doctor who operated on my hip when I was 14 predicted my problems as a senior citizen way back when. I doubt he thought I’d live to be 75. Fooled him.

I am so grateful to The Herald-Dispatch for giving me a twice-weekly column. The nasty emails I receive as a result total no more than two or three a week.

One emailer wants me to retire. Another psychoanalyzes me and claims I am too negative to write a column. He won’t say it, but he’s a Trumpite and wants me to write good things about his president.

Fat chance.

Most of the more than 250 people who wished me a happy birthday want me to pour it on the president even thicker.

A couple of people wrote me emails that sort of pat me on the head and give me the impression they wish I would just go away and do something senior citizens are supposed to do. I think they’d forgive me if I yelled “Get off my lawn” as long as I didn’t say it to Trump.

I wrote to one of them “When is the last time 250 people wished you a happy birthday?”

He didn’t reply.

They say the older you get, the more you remember about your childhood. It happened to me on my birthday when Sleepyhead popped into my aging brain.

Sleepyhead was a raggedy doll I slept with in the dim past when our family lived in Guyandotte. I couldn’t go to sleep without the doll.

I still recall Sleepyhead in great detail, and warm thoughts envelope me as I see the doll in my mind’s eye.

But Vernon, my brother, who had returned from the war, apparently thought it was unnatural for a boy to cling to a doll.

There was a dog with the mange in the neighborhood. One day Sleepyhead disappeared and Vernon told me the “sore dog” stole it.

After that I didn’t want Sleepyhead.

And if Trump suddenly disappears, I will suspect he was purloined by a sore dog.

Dave Peyton Is on Facebook. His email address Is davepeyton@comcast.net.

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