Last third can be best third

By Observer editorial March 27, 2013 09:07 am

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” the late musical superstar John Lennon is quoted as saying.

Some people plan on living to 80. Others aim for 90 or even the magical 100 mark.

What happens when your lifespan exceeds expectations? When you live way longer than you expect? 

There’s no telling how long Jack Fox of La Grande expected to live. But the 92-year-old is a reminder of what it takes to turn the fall of life into spring. Fox, a member of the Blue Mountaineers old-time country western band who was profiled in a “Real People” article Monday, shows that no matter your age the important thing in what some call “the last third of life” is to have a passion and stay as active as your health allows.

Sandee Fox, Jack’s wife, said music is what keeps him young. Fox also keeps the spring in his step by preaching and leading Bible studies at churches and assisted living centers. 

With Northeastern Oregonians in their last third getting ever more numerous, it’s important for all of us to think about ways to make the region a great place to grow old. Issues such as access to health care, senior isolation and transportation come immediately to mind. And if we are a senior, it’s important we find a passion and run with it. Whether they are mentoring youth, teaching cooking class, building birdhouses or playing music, seniors play an important role in the rich tapestry of a community.