Archive for December 24th, 2019

December 24, 2019

Today I’m 65

by Rod Smith

The Mercury / Tuesday

On Christmas Eve I’ll be 65. My grandparents were 65. Then, dad. Then my sister, brother.

Now it’s my turn.

Our mother died at 53.

I won’t ask where did the time go. I know where it went. I watched it, year by year, felt them coming.

Soon I will have spent more of my life in the USA than South Africa. That’s astounding to me.

For almost a third of my life I have woken every weekday to write for The Mercury, a newspaper thousands of miles away. I also spent a good portion of life playing music at Umhlanga’s Oyster Box Hotel.

Most fulfillment has come from being a dad, a sibling, traveler, and speaker. I frequently look at an audience and consider the irony. Any second my life-long stutter can rise and arrest every sentence and bring it to a grinding halt.

I have been loved beyond reason. I have used and hurt people. There are times the memories of my willfulness and selfishness stop me in my tracks, keep me awake at night. Unsettles my bones.

The years reveal that, like you, I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.” They confirm I am flawed, fallible, often fragile.

They loudly declare I have known grace, kindness, and generosity wildly beyond my deserving.

Despite common belief, Christmas Eve is a great day to have a birthday, even if you have to draw attention to it yourself!