Friday, February 1, 2013

Anniversaries, Good and Bad.

Its February 1st today! I like February, mostly because it's my birthday month; I'm going to be forty-two in just a few days.  It still feels a little weird to be forty and over, mostly because I still feel like I'm fourteen.  I feel pretty proud of where I am at forty-two, though, and I think I'm doing okay.  Mostly, I can't believe how far I've come and what blessings I've been given and what new adventures I've had.  I can't help but reflect every year, however, that it's one more birthday without the presence of my parents, who were, of course, at the very first one!

What I also think about as I progress through my forties is something I think many people who have lost parents think about; the fact that I'm rapidly approaching the age at which my mother died.  She died when she was forty-seven, so that means I only have five more years until I get to where she ended.  It can be an important anniversary for those of us who have lost a mother because it means we will get to reach ages and experiences that our mother never got to reach. I will be living what she was supposed to live, and didn't. 

Living past the age at which a parent, especially a mother, died is something of a magic line; you can't help but think about your own mortality and your own life expectancy as if the age she was will also be a finish line for you, nonsensical as that may seem.  And you never really stop mourning the important events in your life she never saw; like graduations, and weddings, and birthdays.  I imagine 2018 will be a very strange year for me; a very strange birthday and a very strange anniversary.

I do feel fortunate that I've made it this far, and I hope I make it another five, ten, twenty years or more; events in my life have taught me that enjoying each day as it comes is the best way to live.  I'm happy to be forty-two.  But I imagine that somewhere deep down inside, I'll be even happier when I'm forty-seven and a half.