This past weekend, I had a brand new experience. I went to Mr. Beard’s Grandfather; LD’s 99th birthday party. Having been, and continuing to be inspired by him for almost 20 years, I thought I’d share some of the lessons he’s passed down.
For the past 18 years, not once has LD asked me, or Mr. Beard when we are going to have kids. He has accepted us and our small childfree family, as we are, even asking after the cats when he can remember their names. This unconditional acceptance has given us an ally in remaining childfree, and one that we were not expecting. You see, LD loves his great-grandchildren to bits. It’s immediately obvious that he is proud of the kids, and that they add an extra twinkle to his eyes, but at the same time, he has also been just as proud of Mr. Beard’s accomplishments, and of mine; accepting us just as we are; two childfree adults.
No one is too old for a nap
LD can sleep through anything. It makes me jealous. Getting hungry, but not the time for dinner yet? In a blink of an eye, he’s napping and that much closer to eating. It’s silly, I know, but a good nap heals the mind, body, and gets you closer to that bite of chocolate cake!
Never Stop Learning
It’s cliched, I know, but LD is continually learning new technology, music and life’s wonders. At 99 years old, he emails daily, uses a tablet to read the news, and is currently working on mastering Netflix and BritBox. Learning new tech is difficult at any age, but at 99, it takes some serious perseverance, something LD is definitely full of. Keeping his mind active has been important as his body starts to slow down. If he can work through this, then there is nothing stopping me from learning new things!
The last thing LD announced to me that night was that he’d do everything in his power to treat me to a 100th birthday party. I spent the day using the fact that I had never been to a 99th birthday party before to snap an extra photo or two. It was a fun, intimate party, and I know he’d love having photos with his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even a selfie with me; his granddaughter in law. Having a goal to be able to treat us all to a 100th birthday party, a letter from the Prime Minister and even the Queen, will help him through this next year. As his circle of friends and family gets smaller; he’s a little housebound now, these goals ensure that he keeps in touch with everyone. If he could proclaim so proudly that he’s going after 100 years, then I can believe in myself to achieve my goals too.
So to LD, we raise a glass to you, and look forward to reading those letters next year!
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