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From firsts to finals

Yesterday, more than 150 folks gathered to honor the 12 men who are taking early retirement from the newspaper. These are my peers, guys I've known for 20 plus years. Lots of former S-R staffers came to the party, and it was a chance to catch up. The members of our  “class” of S-R journalists are in our 50s and 60s. Yesterday, we talked about parents who were sick or who had died, medical challenges personally and with family members. Grown children and now for many, grandchildren. And, of course, retirements.

Those discussions, more than people getting and looking older, were the proof of time passing to me. This morning I realized that with my peers in high school and college it was first dates, first kisses, first college tests, and in the 20s and 30s, we talked about these firsts: marriages, divorces, babies, work firsts.

The discussions change with every life era. And so be it. My wish this morning is to stay in touch with the retiring 12 through the years so that in our 80s and 90s we will have some interesting talks about the “finals” of life.

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About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

Ask a question: Catherine welcomes questions about aging issues and grief. Email her at

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