“Everything is different now,” a friend said last week. At 80, she questioned why she’d had a $400 increase in her car insurance. She wondered if it was worth it yet to invest in granite counter-tops for her kitchen. And she reminded me to be thankful for my husband, that her evenings are still the loneliest time of day since her husband died six years ago.

I agreed. Everything is different as I age. I look at life through different glasses.

I see good things: my children raising their children, relieved that my child rearing days are over; days when I can sleep in, rather than having to get up at 5:30 to meet nursing students at the hospital; Sunday afternoons as free to read the paper instead of preparing for lectures on Monday; lots of free time to write, take classes, attend concerts and plays, travel with my husband, spend time with friends, and on and on.

I also see things that are not fun—pain, illness, death, and losses of all kinds.

Last week was one of both extremes. On Tuesday, my husband and I celebrated our 53rd wedding anniversary; on Sunday, a brother-in-law passed away.

Fifty-three years ago, he and my nurse sister, with their three children, were at the punch bowl at my wedding. My sister died three years ago next month. Now the little kids on this picture are planning their dad’s funeral. My heart goes out to them.

File Sep 14, 9 21 45 AMYes, everything is different now. But today I’m taking a moment to be thankful for life, and, as our minister says on Sundays when someone dies, I’m thankful for life eternal.

Life eternal: the most blessed kind of different. We, all of us, old and young, can contentedly carry on with this peace in our hearts.