1969. Belton Missouri. I was in the Air Force stationed at Richards-Gebaur Air base, just outside Kansas City. Peggy and I lived in a small trailer in a cozy trailer park about a mile from the base.
There was a little old man that lived across the street from us named Mr. Katz. He was a friendly guy who always greeted us with a wave and a smile. One afternoon as he was doing gardening in his little patch of beautiful, he put down his spade and came over to talk. Among the small trailer-talk, he said something to us that we’ve remembered and thought about over the last 46 years. I can still remember the look in his eyes as he spoke, it was a look of ‘knowing,’ a look of aged wisdom with an almost-hidden smile.
He said, “It’s going to go by really fast. I remember when we were about your age, and it’s gone by really fast.”
Peggy and I looked at each other, 18 and 19 years old, and smiled. We had our whole lives ahead of us, and life seemed to be moving pretty slow. It seemed like forever until I would get out of the Air Force, it seemed like forever until I would graduate from college, it seemed like forever until we could move to Carson City and plant a church.
Over the years since that afternoon in the trailer park, Peggy and I have said to one another numerous times, ‘Mr. Katz was right.’
Last Tuesday we celebrated Peggy’s birthday with a family ‘pizza party’ at the house. We were surrounded by our three sons, their precious wives and eight of our nine grandchildren, what a blessing. I can’t tell you the thankfulness to God that overflows our hearts.
After all had left and headed home, Peggy and I looked at each other, now 65 and 66 years old, and smiled. I said, “Mr. Katz was right.”
Live each day well.