When I first met Mae I was surprised that she was 94 years old. I learned very quickly that she wasn’t your typical 94 year old. She had spunk, and a lot of it. Once when I asked her why she parked so far from the church building instead of using the up-front spots, she said, “Honey those are for the old people!” I remember another time while taking a van load of seniors on an over-night trip, she told me, “You’d better keep an eye on me this trip. I’m planning on sneaking out tonight and going man hunting.”

Her family invited me to Mae’s 95th birthday party celebration that year. All of her family was there. I asked her if she liked her big birthday celebration, and she told me with a half smile on her face, “They do this every year. They think it’s going to be my last birthday, so they all show up for a big party. Little do they know that I have a few birthdays left.” Mae was right. She had quite a few more birthdays left with her family.

It was at her 98th birthday party that I asked Mae a question, and her answer has always stuck with me. I’d somehow got a moment alone with the 98 year old birthday girl, and as we visited I asked her, “Mae, I’m curious. You’ve lived 98 amazing years on this earth. If you could sum up all of your ninety-eight years of life, what is the one thing you’ve learned?” Mae leaned in close and with a serious look on her face whispered to me, “I’ve learned that life is SO short. It goes by like that,” as she snapped her fingers.

“Short,” I said, “Mae, you’ve been alive for 98 years!”

And then she said it again, “But it’s gone by SO fast!”
Mae was right, life is so short. You’ll blink twice, and your child who just started kindergarten, will graduate from high school next month. That baby you rocked in your lap yesterday will tomorrow be saying, “I do,” to the one they love. And those you love will soon pass from this life to the next. Things will change! Why? … because life is short. A great lesson taught to me by a spunky 98 year old friend.

My suggestion, since life IS short, is for us to quit worrying about things that aren’t really that important and start living everyday focusing on the things that really matter. Hug your kids today, play catch with your son even though you’re tired, remind your spouse why you married them, call your parents, but whatever you do, don’t think, “Oh, there’s always tomorrow.”
“You do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” ~ James 4:14

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
20 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Deb ;) says:

    True, my friend!

  2. SteveG says:

    Today is the first (hopefully of many) time I celebrate my 39th birthday. I saw the title of your article and thought, “just what I need – another reminder that I’m getting old.” Just moments before, I had noticed that the really cool golf shirts that one of my sons had gotten for me was a “Champions Tour” shirt. For those who aren’t golfers, that means “old guys” shirt.
    Then as I was reading I began to realize that this was exactly what I needed to be reminded of today. My 39 years are pretty miniscule. And however many years I am blessed with…it will still be miniscule. But eternal life…well, I reckon eternal life ought to be just about perfect.
    Thanks for reminding me of whose I am.

  3. Tim Archer says:

    One of my favorite statements in the Bible:

    “And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult” (Genesis 47:9)

    Life IS short.

    Grace and peace,
    Tim Archer

  4. Stoogelover says:

    I just love people like your Mae. We had a few in Long Beach. Fenton Kee was in her 80’s and served on the minister search committee when I was hired. She was well into her 90’s when she died … looking about 65 years old. At the age of 85 (I think), she was lying down on the roof of her house, painting the trim! She would also be found up in a tree trimming limbs.

  5. LauraLee Shaw says:

    Trey, this is one of my fav posts. Our family has experienced 4 deaths in the last 3 years, hard ones too. This was our first Easter without a single relative to share it with…so hard. My husband and I have changed so many of our priorities, and somehow the stuff that used to matter just doesn’t anymore.

    How I long and pray for more Maes in this world and in our churches to keep reminding us.

    Blessings on this Easter Monday.

  6. Amanda KP says:

    this is a good one!!! thanks for sharing!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Oh so true. Great story it put a smile on my face.

  8. TREY MORGAN says:

    SteveG – Loved the comment … happy 39th :)

  9. Karlene Jacobsen says:

    WOW, thanks for the reminder to make every moment count. I love those 98 year old people who are loaded with so much wisdom.

  10. cwinwc says:

    Just think how many church fights, spouse fights, fights with our kids, and fights in general we would avoid / resolve / and learn from with a “Mae like attitude.”

  11. Peter P says:

    I was talking to my neighbor yesterday about his impending 97th birthday. He told me 97 is probably enough for any one man.

    I told him “No chance. You came all this way, it would be silly not to break 100 now!”

    He still uses his table saw every day and still drives his car around town. He’s truly an inspiration.

  12. The Waldrons says:

    I needed that!

  13. karin says:

    Beautiful story!!

  14. Jenschke Family says:

    You are awesome! Thanks for always sharing the wonderful experiences you have. I need to hear those things daily. Sometimes I think I have that attitude pounded into my head and then something comes along and there I go again!

  15. Lana says:

    Thanks for that reminder. My 2 granddaughters and a friend asked me right before I read this if they could have a picnic and would I make them the strawberry shortcake that I had planned on for after supper. I said no,….but after reading this, I’m about to go and let them have a strawberry shortcake picnic!!Life is too short!!

  16. Katherine says:

    Totally awesome reminder-thanks for sharing! Mae sounds like an awesome woman…oh, if we were to all have that attitude and outlook!

    Life IS short…that is why I always want to live life to the fullest…but I know I fall short of that so often!

    Thank for putting things back in perspective-I want to embrace every moment of life we have while here on this earth!! :)

  17. Anonymous says:

    Loved your post. You can learn so much from the elderly if you take time to really listen. I go to church with so many older folk and they are so sweet and fun. Maybe because they are elderly Christian folk is what has made them sweet and wise. gmj

  18. outnumberedlisa says:

    Good timing on this post, though I am only now reading it. My grandfather lived his life in such a way that no day was wasted, no opportunity to smile at someone was missed, no chance to share the gospel with the lost was given up. Someone else made the comment to my grandmother that he truly made every day count. I miss him, but am so thankful for the example he’s given me, and so grateful that I took many opportunities in recent months to see him!

  19. TREY MORGAN says:

    I have no doubt that your grandfather was a great man who left a great legacy, and he was a blessing to those who knew him. :)

  20. Justin says:

    Great story! I really enjoyed this one!

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
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