My husband’s 95 year-old grandmother recently had hip surgery. You read that correctly. 95. She is such a sweet, thoughtful woman with a great love of family, scotch, and golf. Over the last few years, she has struggled with the deterioration of that hip and didn’t ever want to do surgery. She convinced herself that she was too old and there was no point in having surgery at her age. However, after the pain became too great and the things that brought her joy were falling out of reach, her doctor convinced her that despite being 95, she was in excellent health and there was no reason to not have the surgery. After attempting numerous treatments and medications, finally, she agreed, knowing that life is meant to be lived, no matter your age.

The surgery went well and I was so proud that she made the decision, I decided to tell a friend about it. “95, can you believe it??” I asked. My friend was so pleased to hear of someone at the age of 95 taking the chance of a major surgery. But my friend followed this excitement with a sad and heartbreaking story of a young child that didn’t have such a happy ending.

A 12 year-old girl who attended her church was playing in the snow with her four siblings when she suddenly collapsed. At first, the children thought their sister was playing a joke but quickly knew something terrible had happened. This child never had any health issues, never had any physical problems, and never recovered. Each day she was on life support, we prayed there would be recovery, but it was not in God’s plan. I’ll never forget the words of my friend used to let me know this precious child was gone. “God’s army just increased by one…Tabatha died.” My heart sank for this little girl that I didn’t even know. It broke for her parents, her siblings and her friends. Tabatha was full of life, laughing and living, and in an instant, she was gone.

As I watch my 5 year-old daughter at her swimming lesson, blowing me kisses and waving, my heart is filled with love for her and is filled with heavy sadness for those parents who will never again see their daughter swim. Never smile. Never live her life.

We all know life is not guaranteed. Age shouldn’t be a factor in deciding to do something. Take a chance. Live your life. Love.

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