Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Papa!

Papa is going to be 90 years old this week! Yesterday, the three of us went out to lunch as part of the week long celebration we have in mind to mark his special milestone. These are a few photos from our lunch time outing. We had a fun adventure. I normally take several photos especially when photographing family since it is sometimes worth it to get everyone looking their best. I am afraid sometimes my subjects get a tad impatient with this, however fast I try to be. It sometimes brings about interesting "out takes" when one of the subjects is chatting mid photo, or similar. Papa did a good job of saying "cheese" for the outdoor photo,

Mimi said, "Did you hear how Papa said 'cheese'?" and I answered, "Yes, he made it sound as if the cheese had gotten a bit stale and mouldy..." Of course, this made all three of us laugh. So we "entered laughing" as we went into the restaurant.

I know that is the title of an old play: "Enter Laughing". (It is a semi-autobiographical work by comedian and producer Carl Reiner). I think it is good advice. Sometimes people we know "enter gloomy" or with a long face. Sometimes that is due to something amiss in their day, and sometimes it is just a sad habit they have gotten into over time. Then, like Eeyore, they spread gloom up to the maximum. Most of us are too polite to tell them that they would do themselves a huge favor if they practiced how to enter laughing. Or at least, smiling. Or at least, not frowning.

Someday, maybe the day before I retire, I will share with a few specific someone's that they have wasted most of their lives by entering frowning. Such dreary folks are perfect examples of how NOT to live. Especially, in light of what the Bible teaches.

Back to Papa. He is not blue or glum, no matter what the day. Nor is Mimi. They go out of their way to be personable, outgoing, kind and thoughtful. They almost never complain. They take challenging news in stride. If they are going to do something new, they often do a "trial run" to be sure that they get the most out of the experience. They make ordinary days special by small acts of thoughtfulness. They notice people, pray for people and befriend people. They treat others the way that they would want to be treated. I hope I have learned and will continue to learn from them. They are perfect examples of how to live. As if they carry with them the scripture, "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!"

I think that is why they are thriving in spite of some health challenges, some of which I have noted in this blog before. I have learned much from both of them about perseverance in the midst of life not going precisely as one might wish. I am proud of them both. I am particularly glad that, five years into their move from East Petersburg, they are happily enjoying living in Central Florida. Making that kind of a move is an adventure at any age--and they get high praise from me for doing it with such style and grace.

"Hope for the Best. Expect the worst.
Life is a play. We're unrehearsed."
- Mel Brooks

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