Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | November 15, 2018

On 68

Telling part of my life story in icons.

On 68

If I keep breathing for two months past my 68th birthday this November 18th, I’ll outlive my mother. I’ve already outlived my wife, father, and three grandparents. I have to go nineteen years to outlive granddaddy Bowden past 87. He probably lived that long because he was so ornery. Clearly, my counting indicates how keenly I know I’m at the short end of the candle. And, it’s just weird. Seriously. I feel like I’m 25. I feel as passionate, as engaged when I so choose, and absolutely alive as I did when I was 25.

That is until I actually get physical. Then, the one artery – which is fifty per cent blocked, the degenerative arthritis in both hips, adult onset asthma, allergies, dry eye, etc. kick in.  So, I’m relegated to fondly remember running and just kayak for an hour instead. Consequently, I feel as passionate, engaged, and absolutely alive as a 68 year old man!

Regardless of how I feel, I’m grateful, grateful, and grateful for every day of life. Not exaggerating. I thank the Lord God several times a day. Without fail. God is sweet, kind, and generous to me. God is good. All the time. No matter what.

So, what can I share on being 68?

First, I like sharing my personal graphic. When I transitioned from being a wannabe barrel-chested, Commie-killer to a note-taking, slide-making Defense Contractor, I discovered how I like good visuals. My life’s story in icons is just fun. Not bragging. Started it in 2013 and keep improving it. It tells part of my wee tale. Please enjoy.

Second, I find it interesting that I’m still living according to prior decisions I made. Decisions made long ago still matter. I accepted Jesus as my personal savior at 12. I decided to live under a vertical hierarchy of duties when I was 16. I chose Duty, Honor, Country at 17. At the same moment I chose the U.S. Army as a primary allegiance – which doesn’t diminish despite my age. I chose to be a learned, educated man at age 19. I chose marriage to have a family at 24. I chose daily Bible reading at age 32. Picked political participation at age 41. I chose to continue to serve my family and honor my late wife – live life purposefully – at age 63. I became a Deacon at age 67.

Third, I know myself well. I really should by this age. I know my strengths and weaknesses. My successes and failures. My appropriate pride and shameful guilt. I know who I am.

I’m a man of significant substance and no stature.

That statement neither boasts nor postures with false modesty. My influence is in my personal relationships only. I wanted to stride a bigger stage in life, but my place is to do what I was told on March 15, 1987. So, I’m a man who remains on the same mission since age 36 – “You will read and write.”   This year I wrote a second book, “A Grief Felt.” I’ve written over one thousand pieces and a novel since 9-11-01. I’ll try to finish that third book next year.

Finally, I hope this was a fun read. It’s 68 years of just one life in Chronos time.   Day to day linear living. My spirit already lives in Kairos time. My eternal life has already begun. My memories, which go back to age 2, will accompany me when I leave this body. My thoughts, constantly accompany me, will continue. What a trip that will be. Thank You, Lord Jesus Christ.

Ordained a deacon on Sunday October 28th, 2018



  1. Well said. Happy Birthday once again!

    Ward Bursley

    864-349-1943 (cell)

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