On Being Honored

Theme for February: Resilience

Sunday, February 21, 2021

When a celebrity recently gave thanks for the “large honor” she had received, I started saying silent thanks for all the large honors I’ve received, and am still receiving. For example, just the privilege of living on this astonishing planet in a cozy home with my devoted friend and wife, Delycia, who, lucky for me, loves me — what larger honors could I receive? Indeed, on some mornings, I wake up and think, in amazement: Can it be true? Do I really have the honor of being the husband of such a good woman, and the father of four marvelous children, and the grandfather of four equally marvelous grandchildren? That kind of good fortune seems almost unbelievable to me.  And each day I’m presented with an astounding world of skies and trees and streets and houses and people and parades of endlessly extraordinary (if not always happy) moments. Is this not a large daily honor for me? Plus, each day I have so many other privileges bestowed upon me – like being able to write a poem, and read some pages from a challenging book, and walk on a forest trail with Delycia, and sometimes ride our bikes together, and sometimes – my favorite these days – take a 5-mile walk at sunrise beside the Mystic River. Also, I spent 35 years teaching at Pine Point School in Stonington, CT, and I felt, right from the start, that it was a privilege for me – and an honor – to walk into my classroom at 89 Barnes Road each morning. Each day, I felt like someone had pinned a prestigious badge on me and said, “You have received the title of ‘Teacher of Young Adults at Pine Point’. Be grateful for this high honor.” And I was grateful, always, and still am – and grateful now, too, for the honor of being a very appreciative Pine Point School  retiree. And one more thing – I also feel quite privileged, now, to be 79-years-old. I feel like being elderly is truly an honor, and I send this message to my former students: Stay brave. One day you, too, might be honored with the ’79 Years of Lucky Living’ medal.              

Here is a photo of two very fortunate and grateful old-timers, taken on a recent 5-mile walk along the Mystic River.

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