'Member when you were a kid and old movies would have pages of a calendar flying off into the breeze to mark the passage of time? How you thought it was so hokey, until your life started to be like that? How you find yourself saying “a couple of months ago…” and you hesitate, think a bit and realize it was nearly a year ago and you’re wondering, “how the hell did that happen!!!”
Three months ago my grandson arrived from Washington for a visit of undetermined length. He stayed almost three months, which now seems like a flash bulb of time. A penultimate example of Catch 22, visiting grandchildren. Time seems to pass oh-so-slowly while their incessant questions come as surely as the next wave at tide’s edge. A four year old is like a Duracell bunny with no off switch. Then, as soon as they’re gone, the quiet that you longed for seems deafening, and you miss their wonder at bubbles, staples, and seed pods hanging from the wisteria bushes.
Someone in our small community two years my junior just passed from Cancer two months after diagnosis. A friend has a husband my age with a debilitating disease that has him hospitalized, likely permanently. A close family friend was killed by a drunk driver earlier this year at age 22. Still, Psycho kitty and Timex live on, like guests who just won’t leave the party.
Two kids (one still at home), 2 dogs, 2 cats, and one ex that I wish would just go away, often have me dreaming of an empty nest. Of the day when I can swing my leg over the back seat of a big bike and be somebody’s bitch for a summer. Of the day that I can drive across country, flitting about like a bee from flower to flower, landing where I’d like from time to time. I want to live in the country with some animals, want to identify birds and trees, want to have a pantry stocked with things I’ve canned, and a cozy spot for sewing next to a window looking out on a garden or stand of trees. The gripe is that I don’t want to be old as spit when I get around to it!
Feelings of your own mortality creep up around the half century mark. We all live as though we’ll reach 100, but there are no guarantees. This is no dress rehearsal. If I died coming down the stairs at work, I’d be really, super pissed, ‘cause I’ve so much life left to live, and yet I wait. For what? Diagnosis of a terminal condition? The glass is half full. Accentuate the positive. Love yourself. Carpe Diem!