Posted on | April 3, 2015 | 3 Comments
If genetics plays a part, it would seem that I have a lot of life left ahead of me. My Granny was five weeks shy of 99 when she died; her sister will be 97 in June, and my mother’s mother is set to turn 91 this month. I joke with Banks that he’s got to get himself in peak conditioning so he can keep up with me as I plan to live another sixty years.
The thing is, though, sixty years is a long time and there’s so much that can be poured in or seeped out of those days and weeks and months.
When I look at the lives the women in my family have lived, I wonder if I can keep up. I wonder if when I’m 97 or 98, I’ll have stories worth telling, memories worth having… a life worth remembering. I wonder if when I’m gone, my family will spend days going through my things and laughing at what I chose to keep and what I chose to throw away. I wonder if they’ll know me; if they’ll see the things I’ve treasured and know what was most important to me. I wonder if they’ll read what I’ve written and think “What a crazy woman she was” or hopefully “what I wouldn’t give to look inside her head for a few hours.”
Because that’s what I’ve always thought about both my grandmothers and about my great aunts. I’ve always wanted to spend just a day or so wandering through their minds, seeing my grandfathers as young men to fall in love with, seeing my parents as children… seeing the world in the softened glow of the 1920s or 30s or 40s.
I look around at the “treasures” in my own house and I wonder why anyone would want any of them. The hand painted ornaments, the wedding china from a broken marriage, the box of my first dog’s ashes that I still haven’t parted with. I look around and I wonder what these things say about me, what they say about who I am… if anything.
If I have sixty years of life left to live, I wonder if I’ll fill them with all the right things. I wonder if I’ve had enough fun to keep me laughing when my body gives out but my mind is still sharp. I wonder if I’ve spent enough time outside to keep me warm when I’m bed ridden, if I’ve spent enough love to have it pour back to me in my last days. Because that’s what matters most, right? That you live while you’re still alive. That you fill your heart and mind and soul with the moments that will replay over and over… the moments you’ll want to replay over and over… as you slowly grow old.
I think it’s time to make that promise to myself. That I won’t waste the time I have. That I won’t lie in a bed at 98 and wonder if I did enough or loved enough or just lived enough. I think it’s time to start filling the minutes of my life with as much happiness as I can stand because there will be time, I’m sure there will be time, when all I’ll have left are my memories.