Marilyn Cox

Marilyn Cox

Today is a day that will never be forgotten by all who live in the USA. Although it has been almost 20 years since the attack on the United States, the images and strong, sad feelings will always be there. Many died that day, but many more became heroes to thank and remember forever. Unfortunately, many survivors became very ill.

I think we all need to return to the patriotic feelings and kindness to our fellow men that were apparent that day and for a few short months afterward. There were few homes where the American flag was not flying. Strangers gathered for candle light ceremonies and prayers. There was no bickering, no insults, no name calling.

There was indeed one nation — very much united. We must stay that way; hope and pray that such a tragedy never happens again! Let’s get back to a nation of kindness and respect.

I am writing this on Monday, Sept. 9 — my 80th birthday — and it has been a very blessed day. I have definitely decided that 80 is the new 60 and that it absolutely doesn’t mean one automatically wakes up “old.”

Like I say, I am so blessed – not “lucky,” BLESSED!

I have had a wonderful life, full of so many beautiful souls. I’ve had elderly role models, including my parents, older sisters, amazing museum volunteers, tons of relatives. There have been so many children in my life — my four kids, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and three generations of their descendants; lots of cousins and more than 21 years of junior high and middle school Columbine students.

I have learned so many things. My goal has always been to learn something new every day. It doesn’t always happen, but almost. I love to see new things as well and make the most of life — it is so beautiful! One who reaches this age also realizes how fast life goes, how precious it is and how many changes occur each and every day.

Hopefully, we learn to treat everyone with respect. People react the way they are treated. Sometimes, however, respect is unwarranted and impossible. My dad stressed the need for each individual to stand up for what they believe in and to not bow down to anyone with evil ways. Distance yourself from the negative!

Good health and taking care of ourselves is at the top of the list. A person can have all the money in the world, but if they don’t have their health, they can’t have quality of life. Many illnesses come upon us through no fault of our own, yet eating right and getting plenty of rest and exercise makes a huge difference — and especially avoiding substances that are true killers.

We are the only ones responsible for our own happiness. It does no good to blame anyone else. We have to take that responsibility. There are so many good people out there to help us through bad situations. Common sense comes in handy as well.

One of the best tools anyone can have is a sense of humor! If you have that, you can work through almost anything. I came by that honestly and I am thankful to have it. Also faith and believing in yourself and your power through faith. You have to have lifelines!

I am so grateful to all those who have and will walk through this journey called “life” with me — my family and friends and sometimes total strangers have been my rock. As I said to begin with, I am so blessed, thanks to all of you!

Marilyn Cox, a native of Montrose County, grew up on a farm and was always surrounded by countless family members who instilled the love of family and history. She retired from the Montrose County School District and, for 21 years, served as curator of the Montrose County Historical Museum.

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