Sunday, November 16, 2008

Markers of Time Passing

Now and then there are reminders of how time is flying and that if other people are getting older, then maybe, just maybe, that is happening to me too. Yikes!

November is the month my oldest grandson was born -- 21 years ago. He is a young man; a smart, interesting young man who I will probably see even less in the years to come than I have in the years of his growing up. This person with a quantum of my DNA is going to college and learning things I would never have thought of studying, developing talents that are all his and seem to have nothing to do with me. I've seen him grow from a dimpled little baby to a cute kid to an awkward adolescent whose body parts grew at varying rates for a while, to a handsome young man who has yet to fill out quite all the musculature his bones can hold. What an amazement that such a person is related to me, at least genetically, for there seems to be little else we share just now. I would love a time to come when we can talk adult to adult about matters of interest and importance that we have in common.

And later this month, I am reminded for I didn't realize, my brother and his wife are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary ... and he is younger than I, though only by 22 months. They were married while I was in college. I remember playing the Mendelsohn wedding march at the church. But that is really all I remember; it seems so long ago. Indeed, it WAS so long ago. 50 years, half a century. This is absolutely staggering. Yes, I know a lot of people do manage to have these amazing anniversaries. I am stunned by the thought of living with the same person for fifty years. Intellectually I understand that two people can be happy with one another for that long, can make a life that works in sufficient harmoniousness -- and I think that is the adult way of looking at it for no two people can know each other so very well without areas of irritation, without periods of dissatisfaction. But sufficient haroniousness is a wonder in itself. Something I doubt I could have ever have managed.

So, here I am with an adult grandchild and a younger brother with a golden wedding anniversary. That means I can't be a spring chicken; it means I, too, must have experienced a lot. And, yes, I have. Yes, and we will not be marking special anniversaries -- beyond having paid attention last summer to my 70th birthday. But I think of it all those years and realize how many bits and pieces have eroded mostly from my memory or have simply become a part of the flow. A good many have said life is a river and certainly it's looking like that right now. There were rapids and waterfalls and eddies and floods and droughts and times when the river cut a new channel and so on -- all kinds of debris floating on the muddy surface at times and at other times calm and clear reflecting mostly the blue sky and a fluffy clouds and a few trees overhanging the banks. I have a good many of those lovely days now; I think I've earned them.

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