Blog 2144 – 08.09.2021
The Passing Years
I am thinking of anniversaries this morning. Tomorrow is the thirty-second wedding anniversary for me and my lovely loving wife, Linda Lee. LL stands for not only Linda Lee, but lovely loving, and lovely legs which she has with several other pairs of lovely assets, eyes, ears, arms, hands, feet, etc. The passing years have been kind to both of us. We are more in love today than we were thirty-two years ago and we recently got to witness the wedding or our son, Jay to his beautiful bride, Lauren. Our wish is that they will still be together and as much in love with one another as we are in three decades.
Sadly anniversaries are not always such happy ones. Marriages and businesses fail, tragedies happen, and there are so many sad good-byes (I prefer “see-you-laters.) For some years now I have set as a personal goal, living to see the one the hundredth anniversary of my birth. It is a feat not nearly as uncommon as it was when I was a boy. Back then, sixty years ago, the President of the United States would write you a letter congratulating you on turning one hundred, the local newscasters and even the network morning news would mention your name. Turning one hundred was a bigger deal then as far fewer people lived to celebrate that anniversary.
One hundred years, what wonders these eyes will yet see if I achieve that goal. Of course, as I have remarked to friends often, one of the down sides to celebrating more birthdays is having to say “see-you-later” to so many whose journey is cut short. Remembering the passage of loved ones can become an all consuming passion if we let it. They would not want us to and we should not. We should rather honor them with lives full and well lived each day that we get that they did not.
Today’s song fits well, I think, with my anniversary theme. I was fifteen for a moment and how different the world looked through fifteen year old eyes, but I still remember the hope I had of becoming a writer, singer, and song writer. And though I did not get to make my living at those pursuits they have nevertheless made my life a lot fuller and more fun.
What would you do if you had all the money you needed for the rest of your life and did not have to work? I am fortunate for I already knew at fifteen that even if I never got to make a living writing and singing and writing songs that they would be my passion and true occupation for a life time.
Some years ago I visited my Lily (the only grandmother I ever knew) in a retirement facility just before she died. It was full of mostly older people waiting for their journey to end. I was dressed all in black, like Johnny Cash or Paladin from Have Gun Will Travel, including black Cowboy boots and black Cowboy hat.
As I passed through the large sitting area with my aunt, uncle, and brother to go to Lily’s room, one sweet little white haired lady spoke up and said, “You can’t come in here with that Cowboy hat on without singing us a song.” I happened to have the words to a Cowboy song from the nineteen forties “Don’t Fence Me In” in my pocket as I had planned to sing it at a family reunion later in the day accompanied by my daughter Emily and her guitar Goldie. Instead I took out the words and began singing that song for that dear lady and her house mates, the nursing staff, and my Lily, her daughter, son, and her other grandson. The last three acted a bit embarrassed for me, but hey I was having a ball as were the oldsters singing along to a song they remembered better than the faces of their loved ones.
If I live to be a hundred it is likely that I may end my journey confined to such a place. That is not my first choice as I would prefer a quicker neater exit but If I do get the opportunity to wait in line with others for my departing flight, I expect to still be writing blogs, rhyming songs, and singing to anyone who will listen.
Your friend and fellow traveler,