As they wheeled my grandmother into surgery, over 15 years ago, she held my hand and squeezed it hard. She, an impossibly strong woman seeming impossibly small, looked up at me and said quite frankly, “Don’t get old. Do you hear me? Just don’t do it.” There was no sadness to it or rationality even. There was nothing to do but nod and watch her disappear behind the enormous, cold metal doors.
There is nothing more human than mortality. We will die. Those we love will die. It is a knowledge that resides in our bones as we move through our days. Growing up is progress, but it is also a reminder that our days here are numbered. Yet, somehow there is comfort in knowing that all us humans are in it together, riding the ups and downs of life until the ride jerks to an end and we have to get off.
I hear the words of the older and wiser in my life.
” Time flies.”
Yes I know.
“Before you know it they will be in college.”
Yes I know.
“How did I get this old?”
I don’t know. (Will I blink and be that old too?)
But no matter how hard it is to deal with the reality of today, there is no use holding on to the past with white-knuckled passion.
Might as well open my hands to receive all that these precious moments of childhood have to give.