Age boxes

There are all kinds of different ways to be reminded of the fact that we are jumping into a new age box, always going the same direction – towards the higher numbers. Sometimes it’s just noticing that the frown lines are still there when you laugh and that the laugh lines remain behind when you are no longer happy. If you are a saver like me you might discover that those old clothes that you have been saving since the 60s or 70s are back in style again. The only problem is that you weren’t also able to save the body that used to wear them. The new body that you have now is not quite the same as the old body that you used to have. The new body is now old – or at least getting there.

But it’s not just the stuff that is happening to our bodies that remind us that we are getting older. It’s the stuff that is happening to other bodies around us that also remind us. In the past month, two bodies within my circle of known human beings reminded me of my changing age. They reminded me by dying. One was elderly, the other, not so.

When my grandmother died many years ago, my mother took care of all the arrangements. To me it felt like that was as it should be. My mother was a responsible person, she was a grown-up, she took care of things. And when my father died, she took care of that too. I was a bystander only, a participant whose role was to stand by her side. And by doing that, I remained a child. While the two people who left this life just recently are being taken care of, I am still just a bystander, standing there on the side, ready to help if help is needed but still protected from being the one who makes the arrangements. But having to be the one to make arrangements keeps getting closer.

So far, my mother is still in good shape, enjoying her life. I can still think of her as the one who takes responsibility for things. But eventually, the day will come when the burden of responsibility will pass to me. My son now has reached 18 years. He is standing on the edge between childhood and adulthood. I’m moving from the age box that described a person who arranged birthday parties for the generation that followed after me into a whole new one. The new age box that I have entered is for people who will be making arrangements for the generation that came before me.

2 Responses to “Age boxes”

  • Nancy Henningsen Says:

    Can’t believe Bevin is 18…I don’t think so much in age boxes bc one never knows what will can go on and on or not…must sign off to watch EMMA…too much snow here…

  • kathleen Arffmann Says:

    I loved reading this . I could hear your voice speaking in my ear. I don’t know if your voice has changed like the rest of your body but the the voice I heard was exactly the same as 35 years ago.


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