As soon as you reach 40, people start throwing you parties where you have cakes with black frosting, and people give you gag-gifts like silly canes and other horribly ridiculous gifts. "Your over the hill" they say, as if you've peaked and your life is over from this point forward, and it certainly isn't getting any better.
In recent films like American Beauty, The Incredibles and Sideways characters are shown struggling through their middle life crisis. Yet, probably my favorite Mid-life Crisis character is Mitch Robbins (Billy Crystal) and his friends in the film City Slickers. There's something both sad and comical in the character struggling through their mid-life crisis.
September 11th victim Peter Rodney Kellerman would have turned 40 this year. On September 11, 2001, Peter Rodney Kellerman was the vice president and equities trader for Cantor Fitzgerald. Kellerman had a doctor's appointment on the morning of September 11th and yet it had to be rescheduled and he went to work.
I'm sure Peter, a successful Jewish man from New York had a lot of friends, and had he not been in the World Trade Center 5 years ago, I am sure his wife Robi, and their friends would have had an excellent 40th birthday party.
Perhaps a long time coworker would have given him an over the hill gift bag with anti-aging lotion, a goofy hat with rear view mirrors, and a fill in the blank senior citizens card. Other friends give him cards about being an old fart or about not remember what happened five minutes ago.
I wonder if Peter Rodney Kellerman could gather his friends and family together what he would want to tell them. It's hard to know what he'd say, but I imagine he would say something like this:
"Everyday is a gift, filled with treasures for the taking.
We have so many opportunities to love others and be loved.
And yet, we never know which day will be our last, so we need to take advantage of the time we have.
Now that doesn't mean filling our life with the excesses of wealth and worldly pleasure. It's about loving those that are around us, letting them no that we appreciate them, and giving our all to show we care.
We're never to old to love others, care for others, serve others."
Today, I take some special time to pray for the friends and family of Peter Rodney Kellerman today as they reflect on the anniversary of his death. I grieve with you on a life that was not "over the hill" but a full life, may his life be a testimony to how fortunate we are to have another day that was not promised to us.