Aging Breeds Patience to Deal With the Unexpected: The Unexpected Can Be Wonderful


By Lisa Batten Kunkleman


If there’s one thing my husband and I are learning from aging, it’s patience. We’ve learned to take things as they come and work around inconveniences. To adjust plans. Fretting and freaking out over life’s interruptions serves no purpose except to turn a person into unpleasant company. Our latest such event is a prime example of how things often work out better than we could have imagined.


In a hurry to leave the beach and meet family for lunch a few towns inland, my husband and I were not thrilled to find his big red truck dead. The six-wheeled work truck uses two batteries and both were dead. Thank goodness for AAA and the promise that they’d arrive at the condo’s parking garage within the hour. Lunch would be delayed but not cancelled.


Instead of waiting in the dark, dreary garage listening to our stomachs growl, we returned to the empty tenth floor condo to enjoy the ocean scenery a little longer, running a few minutes past check-out time.


With smartphones in hand, texting those who needed to know about our delay, we noticed out the ocean front window, a crowd walking along the strand. Thinking it was the usual excitement that accompanies a fisherman catching a young shark, we looked more closely. There was no shark.


The group wasn’t heading toward the water’s edge but continuing parallel to the water, a parade traveling along the length of the beach. Two small beach vehicles flanked the group in front and in back, surrounding the people who were led by uniformed firemen bearing American flags. As they moved, people joined in the procession. Other beach goers stood and cheered as they passed.


It’s uncanny how annoying occurrences or disruptions in our schedule can turn into moments worth remembering. Even worth sharing. Once again, patience to adjust to a situation paid off.


We felt honored to watch a 9/11 parade that we never would have known existed, had our truck cranked. On the fifteenth anniversary of a day we will never forget, we witnessed something we will always remember.

11 thoughts on “Aging Breeds Patience to Deal With the Unexpected: The Unexpected Can Be Wonderful

  1. You have to love a happy accident, and recognize when they happen. ☺

  2. I wish I had all of that energy I use to expend freaking out over things that really weren’t that big of a deal. One of the pluses of aging. Great photo, Lisa!

    • Thanks Jill. Only rarely freak out anymore. It has to be really worth all that energy and the headache I always get when stressed. And yes. Love when there’s a plus to aging.

  3. A great illustration to drive your point home! <3
    Diana xo

    • Thanks Diana. I just found out one of my twenty year old sons wrote a hand written letter to his brother telling him how much he cares for him. The letter is precious and also illustrates that “Don’t out things off” way of living. Needless to say the son who received the letter was blown away.

  4. [J+D] Pity those folk who set out their life-plans, and industriously pursue them. The only things those people can experience is what they had envisioned at the outset. Blessed are those that are content to leave the little gaps and pauses in which great things can come into our lives – things we never knew about, believed unimportant or impossible!

  5. It sounds as if you were meant to witness that wonderful tribute, Lisa. Fate intervened for you.

  6. That’s what I think too. Sure glad we did get to experienc it. Thanks.

  7. That was a bit of good luck. Patience is a wonderful thing about getting old for some people, although I must admit I can think of a few who have become more cantankerous in their old age. I hope I’m in the former category. 🙂

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