Celebrating the Big “7-0”

Posted on March 19, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

The biblically allotted three score and ten years was finally attained last weekend, and I am now living in the bonus! The inevitable accumulation of years have been edging toward this decadal milestone. An age once considered ancient, I find that 70 is a liberating time of enjoying life more than ever with freedom to do what I choose (with more than a little advice and influence from an ever-present, loving spouse). God continues to bless us with health, energy and vision and is providing unlimited opportunities to fulfill our mission calling.

Most of the Rankin clan gathered to celebrate my big birthday with my twin sister, Jean. We have come a long way since this photo taken when we entered the first grade almost 65 years ago. We were born in Tupelo, lived in Fulton, but moved to Clinton at age three where we lived through college. Married to a chemical engineering professor, Jean’s adult life was divided between Ole Miss in Oxford and the University of South Alabama in Mobile; she continues to live on the Eastern Shore in Daphne, Alabama.

With our tenure on the mission field and living in Richmond, Virginia for 17 years, we have not had frequent occasions to be together, so it was a special time of family reunion. There were meals to prepare for 20 people, representing three generations; our retirement home was thoroughly broken-in with conversation, laughter, reminiscing and children playing the way I remember family reunions at my grandmother’s house years ago.

It had been several years since we had gathered. Since then my brother, James, and brother-in-law, Ted Huddleston, have died, so Jean, Bobbye and I, and my sister-in-law Rosamond are the remaining older generation. Each of us had two children, and they were all present with families except for Lori who was the only girl. A skype call from Central Asia connected her with the clan, but only the five boy cousins were available for the photo.

All of them remember the location of our home as where they came to grandmother and grandfather Rankin’s house as children. My parents moved away 35 years ago, so most of the second generation adults had not been back in years since childhood. With us now being settled and centrally located to family dispersed from Nashville and Atlanta to New Orleans, Mobile and Tupelo we are anticipating the bonding will continue and an annual precedent has been set.

5 Comments on “Celebrating the Big “7-0””

  1. Bettie Rose Addleton

    Congratulations! Recently I heard that 80 is the new middle age. So, you are still young!

  2. Charlotte Lane Bickerstaff

    I was delighted to see the photo of Jerry and Jean, as it’s been so many years since I’ve seen them in person. I remember them so well from school days at Clinton Elementary and Clinton High School. I, too, will be joining the big “7-0” in June, although it seems like only 10 minutes ago that the younger versions of Jean and Jerry were such cherished childhood friends! God bless you both and your lovely families.

  3. Elsie Presson

    Hope you had a wonderful Party with all of your Family. I am allmost 84 and going strong, so you have a long way to go.

  4. Sylvia Williamson


    Congratulations on your big 70!!! Remember you are only as old as you feel and you sure don’t act like you feel that old!!! You and Bobbi will always hold a special place in my heart! I love both of you very much and wish God’s richest blessings on you both during this BONUS time of your life! I do enjoy reading your blogs on Facebook. Take care and keep on “living the good life!”

    Sylvia Williamson

  5. Carra Kumpe

    Happy birthday dear friend. May this be the first day of a very delightful & blessed year. So p;eased to be able to keep in touch.

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