Wednesday, October 26, 2011

As the World Turns

To every life there is sorrow and joy and we've had our share these last few years. Tonight came news of another family death. Her passing wasn't unexpected but still a shock.

As my father said when I called him with the news: "Well, that's one more person to cross off the Christmas card list, the address list and the road map when I travel."

A few minutes later he added: "I suppose you're the last generation who would even know what a Christmas card list, address book or paper map is."

His remark brought a flood of memories. We talked of family photos, dinners around the picnic table my aunt and uncle kept in their kitchen and my aunt's penchant for dying her hair black and wearing pearls.

Phone calls, emails and texts will fill the next few days as we prepare for her funeral. In nearly every conversation today I heard that my generation is fast approaching the "elder" stage. My Dad and his 93 year-old sister are the last of their group.

My generation (55-69) are far flung geographically and diverse in nearly every respect. Our parents were closer to one another in location and beliefs/viewpoints and honored family traditions.

Today, traditions are dying as fast as their guardians. It's sad from my perspective and a shrug of the shoulder to my children and grandkids.

My Dad's most poignant remark was, "The world's changing too fast & I'll be glad to check out."


Sixbears said...

I count my blessing every day that my kids and grandkids are close, physically and emotionally. Nice to see the kids organizing get togethers to keep the bonds tight with extended family.

Facebook isn't a replacement for sitting around the campfire burning marshmallows.

kymber said...

your Dad is soo right and i wish that he was wrong. speaking as a 40-something couple with no family at all between us - makes me angry to no end. so that is why we have moved to this tiny community where everyone is related to each other and everyone was everyone else's cousins', cousins', cousins' babysitter. we have been very quickly accepted and in a very warm way and i have gone out of my way to especially make a respectful relationship with all of the elders - i try to make their particular favourite foods at all of the suppers and potlucks, and i always make sure to get them up dancing first at our dances.

your Father's words leave me feeling very sad. because he is right. what are we going to do in the future?

HermitJim said...

At my age, I'm feeling these sentiments very much lately!

Maybe it's a sign of the times we live in!