This week I will have another birthday. Click off another year of living. I love my life. I know it will go by much too quickly. In my professional life I have worked with death and dying a good bit. In my personal life, I have buried several cousins, all of my grandparents, my mother, and my father. Life is always shorter than we imagine it will be and I keep this consciously in mind every day. I make choices based on this reality. This is in many ways the greatest gift that working with grief has given me, the power to live with that knowledge. I do not see it as morbid and it does not depress me, but it does change me.
This week is I will have another birthday, my 40th to be precise. That sounds old to my mind. I count the years that have gone by since high school and am amazed to note that it has been 23 years. That is more years than I was old when I graduated. I can remember talking with friends about “the year 2000” and how old we would be by then. It seemed a million years away.
This week my youngest daughter had her last elementary school musical. In preparation for the musical we had to make a trip to the store to get her ‘girl clothes.’ Tomboy that she has always been, she had nothing that would suit the dress requirements. I discovered that she no longer can shop in the girl’s section. Her body has started to change, she is filling out, and she has gotten so tall. Now she has to wear clothes from the junior’s section. She fussed about not wanting a dress, then fell in love with a cute little pair of boots and transformed into a teeny little pre-teen clamoring for very girly things.
This week my middle daughter got her hair cut and figured out how to make her eyes even more stunning with makeup than I had ever thought they could be. During the fore mentioned shopping trip, she found a great little shirt she wanted to try on. It was low cut and form fitted around woman sized breasts. I told her it wouldn’t fit and she bet me it would. It did fit. She has suddenly got woman sized breast.
This week my oldest daughter put on her formal concert gown for band and magically transformed into a beautiful woman. Stunning. Simply stunning. Hips, boobs, hair a model would kill for. She has a woman’s face now. Her cheeks are narrow, her chin delicate.
I held my Master’s hand tightly during the musical. Sitting on the cafeteria benches at the same elementary that my older daughters went to. Listening to the same songs they sang during their own fifth grade performances. Tears came to my eyes and I gripped tighter. I could see in my mind’s eye my 50th birthday year. All of them grown. All of them outside of my grasp. Beyond my womb, my embrace, my home. Off into their lives. I clung to his hand knowing his hand would still be there holding mine in that not so distant future.
I love my life. I know it will go by much too quickly.