Monday, February 23, 2015

Happy Birthday in Heaven

My husband wonders why I am focusing on what would have been my dad's 70th birthday today.  It's not that I don't think of him every year on his birthday or on the day he died and other times, but I mentioned it because it would have been a big birthday.  Maybe it's the numbers.  So many to mark the passage of time that seemed like it flew by so quickly.

This year is my 20th high school reunion.  And, if I had stayed married to my first husband, we would have been married 20 years this year.  I remember thinking that 20th anniversaries were a big deal and was such a long time.  But, now, it doesn't feel so long.  I feel like high school was yesterday.  Twenty years ago, my dad was 50 and my grandpa was getting ready to turn 70.  I remember my grandma writing to me and asking if I could believe that "that young man" was turning 70.  But, today, if my dad were still alive, HE would be 70.  And if my grandpa were still alive, HE would be 90 next year.  I'll be 40 next year.  My mom will be 70 in a couple of years and my grandma will be 90 in three.  40 used to seem so old, until I started staring down the barrel of it.  70 was the age of my grandparents, now it's my parents.  90 years was an amazing length of time for someone to have made it to, but my grandma is so strong and vibrant that 90 seems incongruous.

It's all perspective, I suppose.  My kids think I'm ancient and I don't feel that way (well, in some ways I do, but otherwise, I feel like it hasn't been that long since I was their age).  I thought 70 was near death when I was young, but I don't think of my mom that way now.  94 was how old my great-grandmother was when she died and she always seemed so frail, but now that my grandmother is nearing that decade, it seems completely different for her.  Maybe it's that my former perceptions are not matching with my current reality that is making me focus on it a bit more.

In any case, it's not depression that's causing me to fixate, it's the numbers: 20, 40, 70, and 90.

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