The Big O Birthdays!
Big O Birthdays
Just ten more 'til then,
Another Big 0 Birthday.
One more Big milestone.
Not everyone celebrates "The Big Double O Birthday"!
The Big 1O Birthday
I'm not sure I remember much that was special about my Big 1O birthday, but I'm reasonably sure I was glad to be "double digits" old.
School and friends were so important then, together with being older (like my older friends.)
At the Big 1O the milestone was what grade in school the Big 1O put me in, and the fact that the end of World War II was still being celebrated the eight days that led up to my Big 1O.
School days and the end of World War II were the big part of my Big 1O
The Big 2O
The Big 2O for me was probably the most stressful of all.
As with many of my peers at that age, college life can be exciting and demanding, an adventure into adulthood.
For me as a Plebe at West Point, The United States Military Academy, it was a demanding adventure. Beast Barracks was over, classes had recently begun, the one big break was attending Army Football games with The Corps.
Chances are my roommates thought up something that could be celebrated about being cadets in Company E-2 and my Big 2O, but in the fog of those stress-filled days any celebration is a lost memory, except as I remember they, along with some help, dragged me into the shower, a tradition repeated for each of us the next two years!
It was a summer two years later, but you get the idea.
The Big 3O
The years from the Big 2O to the Big 3O were monumental! College years were done and a career in the foreign service was in full swing, I was married with a son and a daughter to care and provide for. Life had become an ongoing adventure. sweet, and with the necessary challenges that made it so, including being in South Vietnam at their war's early stage.
Need a passport? You first need a photo.
The Big 4O
By the Big 4O I was done exploring the world and I was busy starting two newspapers as editor/publisher. My first wife had chosen a different path for herself and our two children. I had later married my present wife, and we had another daughter and two more sons (twins.)
Leaving overseas life behind and settling in to raise our children at home in America was a wise choice. The adventure of life continued with new and exciting challenges.
The Big 5O
By the time I celebrated the Big 50, we had settled into our home in the Rocky Mountains. The three youngest children were almost teenagers, and our lives revolved around them. Our two oldest children were a son in the military and a daughter in college majoring in mathematics.
I was a State of Utah employee, a working life not so different from my prior federal service, and with two incomes the two of us were living the good life while using our skills and experience to provide for a happy family life.
The Big 6O
After working for the state, we had opted to open our own restaurant and work side by side, teaching our three youngest children how to work and appreciate the values of higher education before all three entered college and soon left to serve as missionaries for our church.
We found that people who needed us found us at the restaurant and it was not uncommon for such people to comment that "Now I understand what it was that prompted me to come here today!" It was more than just my wife's international foods we were serving.
For the Big 6O we celebrated knowing so many new friends and customers who became dear friends, many remaining so today while others have passed on as we all aged.
The Big 7O
Managing a restaurant is a demanding and tiring profession, even with a hard working partner. By the time our three youngest children returned from serving as missionaries in California and the Philippines (speaking Tagalog, American sign Language, English, and a little Spanish) married, and were giving us grandchildren, we had changed the restaurant into an international health business, and started teaching and writing again.
The Big 8O
Today we celebrated my Big 8O by taking the bus to our credit union, getting a cashier's check to pay the remaining tuition for one of the two French students we sponsor who lives with us and attends a major university.
From there we boarded another bus to a restaurant which offered me a free lunch we enjoyed while looking at photos from the past several years.
Then we walked to a nearby university press and picked up the proof of my fifth book which will be published this month as the latest of nearly another dozen I have written since the Big 7O.
Old dogs can learn new tricks, and life remains an adventure as 80 years of wisdom and experience are applied to the latest professions of authorship and freelancing intended to make a difference in the lives of our five children, 17 grandchildren, and the lives of readers.
Beyond the Big 8O
As the Big 8O begins to fade into the background, and it does so very quickly, what lies ahead of Big O Birthdays remains to be seen and experienced.
My own father lived to be over 92, and I mentioned that my mother lived to half past 105. By rights and genes I should outlive my heart valve replacement of two years ago.
My wife Manolie lost her mother in a plane crash, and lost her father to health problems related to his smoking. Her grandmother lived into her 90's, and her grandfather lived to be a strong and healthy man at 115.
We will share the remaining Big O Birthdays God gives us, and surely we will enjoy watching the progress of our children as the computer expert, mathematician, social worker, hospital CEO, and doctor raise those 17 grandchildren, and they in turn celebrate their own Big O Birthdays and give us great grandchildren to enjoy.
Moving on to 105 but never reached the Big 11O.
Cane and able....
© 2015 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.