I have become acutely aware of age lately. Not the limitations of growing old, but the opportunities involved with becoming a centurion. I don’t recall a sudden desire to live past 100 years old. I simply said it enough times to different people that it sounded like déjà. Not just “I’ve been here before” but also that “I’ll be here someday.”
A story on television about someone celebrating a 105th birthday catches my attention with the main curiosity being – is he or she healthy? More often than not, the answer is yes. When I read books like Having Our Say by the Delany sister’s I can easily see myself in life at their ages.
I’m delighted to hear how they and other people, these centurions, independently care for themselves. I listen for their physical endurance, eating habits, outdoor activities, mental alertness, how their faith, if any, influenced their lifespan and any other facts I can glean from their examples.
My desire to become a centurion isn’t stemmed from a fear of death. Being a Christian comes with the surety of going to heaven when I leave here for good so I’ve not been afraid to die before an acceptable time. My 30 year old daughter’s death taught me that permanent change can happen when we least expect it. I have, among other people, her and my mother to reunite with.
At this writing I sport a gauze wrapping and a less than fashionable black boot with velcro strips on my left leg from a fight with a ladder, (Regardless of the crutches visual, I won. You should see the ladder.) and I’m reminded of limited physical endurance and the occasional weariness of life. Walking in full strength on golden streets looks pretty appealing right now.
I’ve always expected to stay active in my latter years, Still, my uninvited determination to become a healthy centurion surpasses any previous expectation to slow to a halt by the time I approach 80.
In all this, recently I was pleased to see my 9 year old granddaughter walk into the room, stand still in obvious thought and finally ask, “What did I come in here for?”