Admittedly, by now he was beyond, well beyond, his teen years.  And yes, many perceived him as old. I thought of him as elderly, mature.

He had reached 92 years, 4 months, and 17 days. But, he wasn’t a tired old man.  That is why he couldn’t sleep that April night. His bed was one of two in the small room that the administration labeled “assisted living”.  In the other bed slept Mabel, his wife, soundly.  She was unaware of Merv’s restlessness.

During those 92 years, Merv’s life was full: a formal education through college; a multiple sport athlete;  55 years as a senior pastor, preparing sermons, comforting the bereaved, counseling the youth;  raising a family;  65 years with the nicest lady in the parish;  the father of three, two reverends and a daughter-wife of a pastor.  Now, he had time on his hands.

So, at 11:15 pm “now what do I do?” was in his mind. He went to his little desk, found the mechanical hand counter that you operate with your thumb, walked to the window that overlooked the intersection where the facility was located, checked the clock for a starting point, and began to press his thumb for every vehicle that went underneath the traffic light – there were no sheep.

Using the hand counter to be accurate, from 11:15 to 11:30 he pressed it 115 times. But, Merv didn’t complain about his situation.   No, not Merv. Rather, he said to himself after those 15 minutes and looking at the hand counter, “this retirement center is at a strategic place for publicizing to the public. Wow!!  Thanks, Mr. Paul, for your foresight!”

With that thought in his mind, all was well.  He went back to his bed, counted his blessings, and went to sleep.