Is ‘Old’ Relative

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By Mike Del Rosario

My Dearest...

Friday, January 24, 2014


"MICHAEL, you will not die young! said my future father-in-law, many, many years ago! I remember instantly feeling good, after he had used his stethoscope, and had taken my blood pressure. I had believed that the kind and knowledgeable doctor knew a healthy patient when he saw one. I must have passed his physical exam as a future groom for his well-loved daughter. Before I could brag about my health and claim to be physically fit, I found myself asking, "Why, doc?"

Without a shadow of a smile, he replied, "Because you are already old!"

He certainly had a good sense of humor. I was, still am, and will always be 7 years older than Angie! Though, she is fast catching up! From 50 percent of my age when she was 7 and I was 14; now that she is 53, and I am 60, she is almost 90 percent my age!

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Looking back, I realized, he was telling the truth. Why? Because almost everything is relative!

Plenty or little, rich or poor, bright or dull, happy or sad, strong or weak, and hundreds of other descriptions, are seldom “absolute”, but relative; relative to a benchmark!

I am young among the super senior citizens, but I am old when I am among the yuppies and teenagers. I wonder if the little kids consider me ancient?

Already, almost everyone either calls me, “Manong”, or “Tay”. I miss being addressed as “Ading”. I bet many people my age do not get to be godparents at baptism anymore, only at weddings! However, I still got to be a “young” godfather last year! Of course, I had volunteered to be one, when my grandnephew was born seriously ill. Being there when a priest was called to baptize him, “automatically” made me the “shoo-in” godfather. Timothy has survived one medical crisis after another. May he grow up healthy and under the protection and special grace of the Lord!

Luckily for me, no one calls me “Lolo” (yet!). In spite of obvious physical signs and differences, I still have the habit of calling younger people, “Manong”, or “Manang”! They are inappropriate use of words, or simply a reflection of a possible stage of denial.

While my daily boxing “sparring” partners in Burnham would repeatedly say that my punches are getting stronger over time, everything is “relative”. I still believe, the younger Manny P. throws a meaner punch. Though my boxing record is better than his… without ever having been knocked out, neither have I knocked out anyone either! He he!

Dear friends,

While we still can, let’s try to keep healthy and fit! A healthy lifestyle, with a proper diet and sufficient exercise, will help keep us “relatively” younger, or “less old” for our actual ages.

But most importantly, a proper mindset, a positive attitude, and a positive refreshing outlook in life, do make a big difference. It determines how we handle the challenges and pressures of life.

While I can still shout, “Yes, you can!”, I can’t say it to myself as often anymore. “Yes, I can”….. in less ways today, than yesterday; but not necessarily in less important aspects and phases of life. Yes, we can do more, in ways that matter more, and are of more value for eternal life.

Let’s fill our minds with good thoughts, and give our hands more good deeds to perform. More, as we grow “older”, but wiser!

Believe and apply what is written in Philippians 4:8-12, “ Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable; if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.”

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 25, 2014.

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