Dee Dee Risher 3-28-2016

I never expected to be here—unsettled, sometimes looking over my shoulder at so many precious and lost moments. I expected to always look forward, always be moving somewhere. I yearn for some fruition of my dreams: a time when racism and the earth are healed, when every child is loved to his or her full potential in every way, when my lover and best friend never doubts his beauty, when I am the person on this earth whom I long to be. I long for the certainty that my children possess—that they will save the frogs.

I did not choose these dreams of mine. They were given to me. I’m sure of it. The Spirit beckoned them, whispering: “Dee Dee, this is part of my vocation for you. Strive to make these dreams a reality. I will go with you.” And with that God-inspired passion at my back, I plunged ahead, doing my best to be faithful to what was asked. Truth be told, I expected to bring at least one dream to fruition—given all the heart that I was willing to pour in and all the need and the rightness of the causes.


Is 70 the new 50? kondratya/Shutterstock

Can you imagine? I am now three score plus 10! According to measurements used during biblical times, a "score" was 20 years. Three score is 60 years. So three score plus ten, makes me 70. Moses put is this way in Psalms 90: "Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty. But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble; soon they disappear, and we fly away." Well, I am not quite ready to fly away!

When I was a child, a 70-year-old person was truly ancient; like, really, really old. I imagined they were almost as old as dirt, salt, or the oldest Bible character, Methuselah. In my child's mind, 70 was too old to move fast, think hard, feel deeply, laugh out loud, dance gracefully, exercise intensely, and experience joy. Mostly, 70 year olds were just waiting to die. Right? Of course, they were definitely too advanced in years to think, feel, or act sexually, even though researchers say otherwise.

What is so amazing is that I feel many times better today than I felt at 60, 50, or even 40. 70 really IS the new 50!

Eric Lyman 6-11-2013
Religion News Service photo by Jin Lee/Staten Island Advance.

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Religion News Service photo by Jin Lee/Staten Island Advance

VATICAN CITY — Just months after becoming the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign, reports are surfacing that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is in poor health with diminished stature and energy.

After a brief hiatus at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Benedict returned to live in a converted monastery on the edge of the Vatican gardens last month. Already, some of his visitors have commented on the former pope’s physical deterioration.

“Benedict is in a very bad way,” said Paloma Gomez Borrero, a veteran Vatican correspondent for Spain’s Telecinco television network who visited the former pope in late May. “We won’t have him with us much longer.”

Cardinal Joachim Meisner, the archbishop of Cologne, Germany, and a personal friend of Benedict’s, visited the former pope in April.

“I was shocked at how thin he had become,” Meisner said at the time. “Mentally, he is quite fit, his old self. But he had halved in size.”