Most of us are privileged enough to have lived long enough to have memories. It’s funny how you look back on things that have happened over the years and compare them to where you are now. For example, as married people we often “remember” back to when we were single, without kids and how much we thought we knew back then! We were so naive.
One thing my memory seems to do to me is selectively NOT remember things that I said or did a week ago but I can recall the most insignificant conversations from 20 years ago! I remember the smell of my babies but I couldn’t tell you what they wore yesterday. One thing I have learned is that our memories are more tied to ALL of our senses than just one. The smell of the sweet peas in my garden propelled me back to my childhood and my grandma’s house. Did she use perfume with that scent? I don’t know, but I felt her~ I could even hear her laugh. The sound of an 80’s song always makes me think of Wild Slides in Regina. Tina Turner, Journey, Hall and Oates…oh man, it’s like yesterday!
This past week my 3rd child celebrated her 13th birthday. Can you think back to when you crossed that invisible threshold into adulthood? I have a vivid memory of my 13th because I was at the wedding of my cousin. And now, I’m amazed that I’m old enough to have THREE kids in their teens!
While filling out admission forms for my kids’ new school I came across the “Grad fee”~ for Grade 12 students….and I was struck! I am NOW the mother of a Grade 12, ready-to-graduate kid! It absolutely caught me off guard. We’ve talked about it and we’ve known about it~ I’m not completely clueless~ but when faced with the reality it literally took my breath away. My little red-headed, cute boy is nearly on his own and I just barely feel like we’re getting started!
My husband and I, early this summer, quietly turned 40. I say quietly because we didn’t have the parties we always thought we would have. It sort of snuck up on us and we were not in a position to be going anywhere or doing anything grand. That’s okay, because I wasn’t really ready anyways. I’m kind of hoping one of my other friends who are partying it up in the next few months will let me piggy-back on their parade! Maybe I will be ready by then!
Friends are getting their kids married off, people are having babies, singles are marrying after years of aloneness, jobs change and people move on. You can’t slow down time no matter how hard you try. August is a great metaphor for life: just when you think you’re finally enjoying summer and getting your vacation groove on WHAM!! it’s Aug. 1 and there’s school supplies to buy, dental appointments to book, new figure skates to be fitted and senior years to plan. Why does it happen so fast? And why does it feel like you’re going downhill with no brakes?
Today, a major part of our Canadian political scene died. Mr. Jack Layton, whom I disagreed with on MANY policies, died this morning. He was a great Canadian and a wonderful addition to the opposition in the House of Commons. It is a sad day anytime someone dies but sad for Canada to lose such a charismatic supporter of social justice. I just found out that our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has approved a state funeral. I would expect NO LESS from ANY government whether NDP, Liberal or Conservative. It is a sign of honor and respect and already the complaining cynics have come out against this. In a world where so much is bad and evil, heartless and cruel, can we not bury someone with dignity? None of us know the day or the hour we will pass, but it would be a comfort in our final days to know that those we love and those who loved us would have a chance to gather and remember. Time passes quickly and there’s nothing better than having memories to hold to.
I thought of this poem, by Dylan Thomas…how we fight the inevitable…
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light…..
It is said often but too often we forget: Live every day like it could be your last so that you don’t have any regrets. Love those around you, help out where you can, be gracious and forgiving and enjoy the sweet, small moments. Time is fleeting.