Monday, May 2, 2011

One Generation's Length Away...

For Taunt Anne:

There's a great song by John Mayer that I've been thinking about today.  He talks about how he is "one generation's length away from finding life out on [his] own."  Hear for yourself:

Another one of my older relatives passed today.  It is becoming a lot more frequent these days, which I would expect.  That's been the tough part about "midlife."  As much as I'll deny that 40 is fast approaching, the reality is that it is.  What bothers me most is not the growing bags under my eyes or the course gray hairs that stick straight up or the fact that I now need help to get up off the floor.  It's that as time continues to pass, I am losing the "older and wiser" people in my life at a faster rate.  I am starting to look within myself more for the "answers" or turning to those around me who are also my age, struggling themselves to figure out life as it comes.

At these times, I miss those mornings when I was barely a teenager sitting in my grandmother's rocking chair in the corner of her kitchen.  I would hold a coffee cup that was more full of milk than coffee because it made me feel older.  I miss the nights that I would sit at the bar with my aunt as I asked all of the questions I had on my mind.  She never stopped the steady stream that came at her...not even at 2 or 3 in the morning.  I miss the fact that I could now sit with my father and ask him about what I have discovered as an adult.

And what I am discovering most of all is the brevity of life and the simplicity that is what makes it so special.  It is nothing new.  It is nothing noteworthy.  But what I need to work on is learning that lesson.  It is so easily forgotten amid the hectic work day.  The rain-filled day where I worry about getting cold or wet.  The day when I hit the snooze too many times because I am tired. 

My Aunt Anne taught me a great lesson in life, and on the day she passed, I now share it with you.  Shortly before she turned 90, her hot water heater exploded.  It was only inches away from where she was sitting watching TV.  Miraculously, it exploded upward, caught the roof on fire, and she escaped unharmed.  Her house, on the other hand, did not.  I remember walking through her home.  I remember smelling wet carpet and charred walls.  Anne had lost everything.  I saw her standing in front of a neighbor's home, and I didn't know what I was going to say.  I imagined she would be devastated and at a loss for words.  I walked over to her and gave her a hug.  I told her how sorry I was.  She said that she was very lucky and felt blessed.  She had come out alive.

As one of the many in my life who have taught me great lessons...thank you, Anne.