How will you celebrate your 100th birthday?

By October 1, 2013Sanctuary

Staff_Marshall, MikeWhen you get close to your 100th birthday, how will you celebrate?

Well, let me tell you what “Buckshot” might do….


“Buckshot” is a nickname for Everette Henderson, my brother-in-law’s father and one of the finest people I’ve known. He has been a legend in my hometown as a businessman, basketball referee, scratch golfer and the embodiment of optimism. He is also 99 years old! This picture of Buckshot was taken in August. His kind eyes and beaming smile bring me joy every time I get back to Illinois.

On our last trip, seven of us had lunch at a restaurant in a small airport, which happens to be the location of the Chicagoland Skydiving Center. For $250 anyone can walk in, receive a few basic instructions, and jump out of a plane….with a parachute and tethered to an instructor, of course. A photographer even waits in the landing area to snap your picture when you touch down.

While watching the skydivers, Gary looked at Buckshot and said, “Dad, how about skydiving for your birthday?” Buckshot smiled and said, “Okay!” This immediately sent Gary off on a fact-finding mission that confirmed this was doable.

It will be too cold in late February for this to happen on his actual 100th birthday. And honestly, it may not physically happen – but Buckshot’s openness and sense of adventure means IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED IN SPIRIT! That is the kind of “spirit” I want my life to have – and I bet you do, too. To see each new day as a soaring flight of faith….then to drift down into sleep each night with the awareness that we are tethered to God, and this bond will never be broken.


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