Thursday, October 11, 2012


"Birthdays get harder as you get older. As you approach the age your own parent left this planet you feel so much more vulnerable.   Thanks for making the journey easier."
A long-time friend of mine posted this on her birthday not long ago.  She is far from the place she grew up and the place I know she thinks of as "home".  She has a large and loving family and extended family and is blessed with a world-wide circle of friends.  If you knew her you might think she's never had a care in the world as she is always smiling and always facing life's challenges with the best of attitudes.  Yet, like most of us, as life's clock ticks on she is feeling more vulnerable than she did a decade or so ago.
I too am feeling the vulnerability of life as "young-age" leaves me farther and farther behind.  It is not that I have an impending sense of my own demise.  It is not that I have regrets (although I do have a few:) It is more that I have a sense of finite-ness, that there truly is an end to this journey and it's not as far away as it used to be.  You might think (especially if you're "young") that this would make life just a little sadder, but it doesn't.  What it does is wake you up to all that is around you and all that is within you.  It reminds you that "some day" is today and that thing that you've always wanted to do or see or be needs to be done, seen or become.  Not tomorrow.  Not next week.  Now.

Having married my high-school sweetheart makes aging all that much easier.  We understand each other's aches and pains, pretend we can still hear each other and help each other look for our glasses, keys, sanity.  We have worked hard at our chosen careers and are looking forward to the years of enjoying all that that hard work has brought our way. 

One of the true blessings of getting this far in life is seeing our own "children" parenting their children.  We live close enough to see both our own kids and our grand-kids on a fairly regular basis. We get to share both big and little moments together and know that we are blessed to have much laughter and love in our lives.

Another friend of mine is contemplating the "empty nest" years that are quickly descending upon her.  We have survived this phase of our life.  I won't pretend it was easy, it wasn't.  We missed the busy-ness, noise and chaos that was our life for so many years.  We missed our kids.  We have learned to enjoy the quiet, the tidiness but mostly we love knowing where the remote control is at all times.  We love when they're home as the house fills  up again with noise, mess and laughter.  We do miss them when they go but we accept that life is meant to be that way, at least in our culture.  I keep telling them all that the day will come when I come to live with them and I can't wait to leave the towels on the bathroom floor, the lights all turned on and unfolded clothes in the laundry room! 

An elderly gentleman neighbor of ours once described life as being the same as a full bath.  When the bath is full, you can hardly notice the water going down the drain but as the tub empties the water that is left swirls faster and faster and faster.  I think he was right.

I think we are getting closer to the "swirling" stage but still have a bit of water left in our tub.  I do feel vulnerable.  But in that vulnerability I also feel so very aware.  Aware of our family who are close by.  Aware of our family who are far away.  Aware of our health and wellness.  Aware of our dreams; those we've realized and those that we are so carefully planning.  Aware of each other and the love that has grown stronger and stronger over the last 40 years.  But mostly I am aware of each day and making the most of it. 

Thanks Cecelia for reminding us once again to live each day to its fullest.  You are a special part of our past, a wonderful part of our present (thanks to FB) and hopefully, a soon to be part of our future. 


No comments:

Post a Comment