It’s something you’ve wanted all your life. Time has slipped away. You’ve never pulled the trigger on your dream. Pride or despair, perhaps, has kept you from reaching out for the resources that were within reach. It now seems hopeless.
It was the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra’s annual Big Band Fever concert at the Tivoli Theatre on Valentine’s weekend. It was customary for the audience to take advantage of the old tunes, bring their partner and “trip the light fantastic” in any empty space they could find.
I was seated with a client and family on the front row of the balcony once again witnessing the legendary prowess of Maestro Robert Bernhardt as he effortlessly teased a sterling performance from his big band that brought back memories long forgotten.
Suddenly, my eyes moved from the band to the space just in front of the stage. I was at once amazed and all “melty” inside. What I witnessed was two people, ostensibly dancing.
The man was well along in years and age had obviously taken its toll. He stood on the dance floor, but his feet were not moving. How can one dance without moving their feet?
The answer was the woman. Along in years herself, she had not lost the ability to move in syncopated harmony with the brassy sounds of the band. But she was not showing off her own dexterity. She lightly held the hands of the man.
As she twirled and swayed, the hands of the man were engaged. And as his hands moved, his body moved. Even though his feet were planted for fear of falling, he was dancing in response to the engaging encouragement of his partner.
The folks in my party looked at this couple and assumed them to have been married all their life and marveled. Seated beside me, my daughter observed that when the man ended up in a wheelchair, the woman would probably still be helping him dance. What romance! What commitment! What love! And on Valentine’s Day even…
After the concert I had a chance to meet the couple briefly. I didn’t get a lot of information. She identified herself as Rosemary Frierson, a 79 year old retired social worker. The 88 year old man was introduced as Fred Wright, a retired psychologist from the Chattanooga area.
When I asked for their names, my assumption about their marital status immediately evaporated. So…I risked the social phoopah…I asked! It turns out they are dating. It also turns out they met each other online. Yeah…me too…WOW!
I thought about my original impressions of them and what I’d learned in my brief encounter. I realized that for the most part it’s never too late to pursue something important. Then my mind began to enquire about things we tend to let go while time slips through our fingers.
So here’s my “morning after” list of things for which it’s Never Too Late. Can you add to it?
It’s never too late to
Seek and find love. Especially when we’ve been disappointed, it’s easy to withdraw and become isolated.
Learn to dance (depending on your religious affiliation, of course). Notice the Bible is full of dancing. Yes, I know the Bible doesn’t say anything about big bands, Benny Goodman or Mitch Miller.
Enjoy music. We can always appreciate more the gifts of God and the talents with which He graces humans.
Cultivate close friends. Close friends are typically few in a lifetime. They are not to be held lightly. Include your spouse as one of these.
Find God. The Bible suggests the possibility of Him being one of those close friends. Actually, He’s already waiting to be found.
Construct a “bucket list” of things you would like to do before you die. You may never accomplish some of them, but unless you plan, you’ll probably not do any of them. Rosemary went hang gliding on her 70th birthday.
Take advantage of opportunities to show appreciation. This applies to everyone you know, but especially to that “special someone” in your life. Valentine’s Day was just a reminder.
Seize learning. Wendy, a friend of mine, just completed her three-year Master of Divinity Degree at 72 years of age.
Don’t give up on the things you enjoy, even when you can’t perform as well as you did when you were younger.
IT’S NEVER TOO LATE! Well…actually, that’s not exactly true. When they start shoveling the dirt over your casket…well, just sayin’.