Its interesting how grandkids can really bring a sense of reality with many of the things they say. Just recently my grandson told me I was really old. And from his perspective, I get that.
A few years ago, our neighbors from Wawanesa were at our house for my wife’s birthday. Back in the day, that neighbor and I shared many a chuckle together, told stories and at times commiserated about life. His wife happened to be my grade 7 teacher. As we were chatting, my grandson walked up. I introduced him to these folks and told him that she had been my grade 7 teacher. He got this look of confusion and some horror on his face and asked how she could still alive.
A lot of the thoughts around our age is perspective. Clearly as a grade 7 student my teacher would have been way older than I. However, in later years, as neighbors we were practically the same age.
I fully understand that I am getting older. There are certain, not so subtle, reminders. When I look in the mirror in the morning and see my father looking back at me. When my back goes out more often than I do. When I struggle to stay awake after 8:00 in the evening. When any type of physical exertion leaves me breathless and in pain. I suspect I could list numerous other complaints, but I would rather try to be in denial.
It happens to be our anniversary this week. And if I have done the math correctly, it has been 40 years. That is a lot of years. And nothing brings me back to reality quicker than seeing a picture of my parents on their 40th anniversary. They were old and so I suppose that means I am old as well.
One day this last month I picked my wife up from work. As we were driving home, we were catching up on the day that had been. Suddenly she became rather serious and said she needed to share something with me. Of course, and this comes with age as well, I was concerned. As serious as she seemed I knew the news must be serious as well. She looked at me and said that another boyfriend she had before we met, had died.
Why in the world would that even matter to me? It took a minute and then the truth of the matter hit. That was boyfriend number 4 who had met their demise far too young. So, as you can well imagine, that got me thinking. (I also did wonder how she even knew he had died but am leaving that one alone)
I really wondered how I had dodged the bullet, pun intended. Or have I? Why had the others died? I knew I needed to investigate this further but wasn’t sure I wanted to know the truth. I was much more concerned whether I was still a work in progress for her and if I needed to sleep with one eye open.
As with age, anniversaries and other life events, we are constantly reminded of the fact that we are getting older. But as I am reminded often, getting old beats the alternative. And it does. In a recent conversation with another aging person, we talked about the importance of gratitude, talked about looking forward rather than back. We agreed that there should be less regrets as spending time in regret just sucks the energy out of our emotions and our relationships.
My wife assures me I can rest easy, she is not looking for my early demise. So it is what it is. It has been 40 years. I may be getting older but have so much to be thankful for. Here is looking forward to a few more years of building on the many relationships I am fortunate to have. Make it a good one.