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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mirror and Hourglass - Part I

All jokes about involuntary bodily functions and unwanted hair in places you didn’t even know it could grow aside, getting older is, as my Dad always used to say, not for pussies.

It’s during thoughts like these that I realize that I’m not that old; yet when I look at the world around me and compare it with the one I grew up with, I feel miles away from myself and years older than I have a right to feel.  It’s a strange thing, really, feeling primordial while still completely conscious of the tiny, insignificant speck I inhabit in the vastness of history and humanity as a whole.

It happens when you experience the first death of someone close to you; then the second, the third, and as the years pass it becomes so frequent that you fear if people keep leaving at the rate they are, there will be none left.  It’s often not the loss of the person so much that eats away in your mind, but all the things that were left unsaid, those phone calls you didn’t answer or letters you didn’t write or times you didn’t make a visit because you had something more immediate that needed to be done.

It’s that specific smell, or something someone says, or a song that sneaks up on you on the radio that brings a wave of memories and bittersweet nostalgia, and the knowledge that you can no longer pick up the phone or knock on their door hits you like a cold steel knife in the heart – every time. 

Finality.

And there you stand, the Last of the Mohicans, feeling lost and contemplating your own mortality.  There’s this odd sense of survivor’s guilt and an overwhelming need to do something important in your life.  To make it count, make your mark – but that passes, too.

So we go through our lives meaning to change, intending to reach out and keep contact and never let anything else go unsaid just on the off chance that tomorrow doesn’t come.

And that is the purpose of this.

This, the present time where I’m looking back at my life and cataloguing every “I love you” that was skipped, every visit that was postponed, every letter that wasn’t replied to.  This, the moment when I’m staring at a blank computer screen poring over everything I want to say to every person who’s ever meant anything to me.  This, the rambling, desperate words that pour out of my fingertips destined to fall on your eyes,  so that I can rest at night knowing that someone knows how I feel, and so that some shred of the family legacy I carry with me lives on.

If you’re wondering, I’m not dying, but I am pre-menstrual.  You’ve been warned.

Speaking of mortality, and since I can’t really think of a more fitting introduction, here was my dad’s take, as published on this very blog, many, many years ago (the very first post, in fact):
 
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