08 Sep “One of the greatest moments in the history of the world
is author of the best-selling book, “Hot Chocolate for Seniors”(winner of national & international awards); winner of Gold Halo Award from the So. California Motion Picture Council for Outstanding Literary Achievement; winner of First Place Excellence in Journalism Award (SPJ –Southern CA); Town & Gown “Phenomenal Woman” Award; former television host & KSPA radio host of “Senior Living at its Best with Jan Fowler”; speaker, contributing author for “Savvy Women Revving Up for Success”; founder of Starburst Inspirations, Inc. 501(c) (3) nonprofit which supports Redlands Drug Court. www.janfowler.com. Jan welcomes feedback and comments about her columns and invites you to leave her a message on her website.
“One of the greatest moments in the history of the world”
What an awe-inspiring captivating moment the lunar landing was. There was nothing quite like it in human history. And because of television, the world was united as we all walked on the moon with astronaut Neil Armstrong when he stepped onto the lunar surface 50 years ago.
Then and Now
I don’t know about you, but I was so overwhelmed with emotion when I saw the recent replay of “Apollo 11” that I wept. Because, for me, Apollo 11 was a chronological marker and nostalgic reminder of my life then versus my life now.
At the time of the moon walk, I was the young mother of three children all under the age of five. I remember that on Sunday, July 20, 1969—a sultry day in California–we gathered our family together in front of our small black and white television with rabbit ears, and joined in the worldwide excitement over the astronauts’ journey of 238,000 miles from earth to the moon. The children didn’t fully understand all that was going on, but they understood that it was something very very exciting so they settled down and for the most part, were quiet.
After viewing the amazing unbelievable walk on the moon, which made headlines around the globe, I remember wondering what other awe-inspiring breakthroughs and events my children would witness or experience during their lifetimes.
My dreams for my own life then were comparatively simple. I was preoccupied with such goals as saving $5,000 for the down payment on our first home, which cost $34,900 back then, and was part of a brand new development. And I recall the many years of joy which that lovely home brought us.
In those days, I could never ever picture myself turning 50 or turning grey because such concerns seemed an eternity away. Now, however, I catch myself silently whispering, “How do you spell grey anyway? Is it gray or is it grey? (LOL). But back then, I had all the answers for my life.
From today’s prospective, however, I do look back and periodically ask myself what more might I have done with my life and my dash. And then I am reminded of the numerous unexpected ways that my life turned out to be so wide, full, and deep. It was simply because I was blessed with good health and opportunity.
Yesterday versus Tomorrow
The replay of “Apollo 11” reminded me of how much our society has achieved in the past 50 years and how many people have contributed hard work as they strove for excellence, perfection, and lofty goals.
In our lifetime, you and I have witnessed amazing advances in instant communication, including the internet, use of cellphones and electronic devices, astonishing medical breakthroughs such as robotic surgery and control of Aids, the work of robots and drones, plus benefits of automation and electric vehicles.
But in the next 50 years during our childrens’ lifetime, is it too much to hope for a vaccine to ward off cancer and dementia, a surefire way to stamp out world hunger, the discovery of an effective method of treating the common cold, and achieve world peace?
The fact that all astronauts made it back to earth safely was, in itself, another profound accomplishment, proving that we are capable of doing incredible things. So as time moves on, it looks like we may continue to shoot for more incredible, impossible things. Could that be another shot at Mars?