I was chosen to be profiled for the Religious Studies Department GSU-62 Program. I was interviewed, and you can see the profile here. I think that sometimes when we have retired and all of our children have left home, that as older men and women, we think that we have contributed all that we have to the world. But, I am learning that as life is being prolonged these days and more people are reaching their eighties and nineties, that the years after retirement are ripe for new adventures and the writing of new chapters of our lives.
Being a student at age 70 can be daunting, as my bed seems to be calling to me earlier each day. But, I have an advantage over the younger students in that I have life experiences to write about in my papers, and I have often lived what I am learning. I also have fewer distractions in my life today, so I am able to read everything assigned and add constructively to the discussion. I have to be careful not to monopolize the discussion and to let others speak.
But, sometimes I am asked a question by one of the young whippersnappers and it feels wonderful to contribute to their comprehension of the terms or of how they will be fine despite feelings of inadequacy today. I share the triumphs AND defeats of my life. I try not to parent them, but try as I may to have them call me just Regina, I am Miss Regina or Dr. Regina.It’s okay now, for I am thankful to have lived my “three-score and ten” and am still moving on, slower and more painfully these days with a back problem, but my mind is still sharp.
So, to be asked to be profiled means a lot to me. I hope that every young person or senior citizen that reads it will say to themselves, “You know, I can do that, too.” I have loved being an encourager and inspiring people to know that in this life, we can survive what often seemed impossible to endure.
When I spent seven days in a hospital after a beating as a teenager, I thought that I would not live to be 40. I believed that I would die an alcoholic in poverty. But, God had different plans for my life. When we learn to see ourselves through His eyes as valuable and worthy of a good life, and we are willing to pass those painful lessons to others so that the pain we endured isn’t in vain, we will find that we can and will live a life we never expected, and that others will notice and call on us to help someone else make it through. It is the greatest honor.