Age is a Number

Fairy tales can come true. It can happen to you…

Tonight, my 81-year-old friend Linda Hopkins is doing what most octogenarians do on a Tuesday night: record a live album of blues and jazz. She will require a cane to navigate the short distance from nightclub floor to stage, and the persistent pains in her legs will force her to perform sitting down. But once the music begins to pulse an incandescent smile will illuminate the room, and Linda Hopkins will commence to sing. An “old” woman will show for the ten-thousandth time why her nickname is “the Kid.”

Linda considers everyone her child — I’m officially one of her sons — and everyone considers her their mama — indeed, more people call her “mom” than Linda. Her nature is to nurture.

If only she could share the secret of vitality and good health with people nearly 50 years her junior. While Linda’s singing tonight, another dear friend will be confined to a hospital bed, recovering from radiation treatments on her brain cancer. She is 36.

If there’s a lesson to be gleaned from these two very different lives, it’s that it’s never too early or too late. Life is now.

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