Be it rainy and gloomy today to get me thinking maybe a little deeper than normal, than would be it sunny. So goes today.
This weather always reminds me of the fact that my father passed away many years ago when I was quite young at this time of the year. It's been so long, it doesn't really phase me as deeply anymore. Those difficult days have expired and graduated to simple, reflective remembrance. But this year, there is a new player in this quotient, as I will turn the exact age he was when the sand ran out on him. And at the time - on me. This year, I pull even.
Admittedly, it has been on my mind since the ball dropped in Times Square two months ago. Hard not to. He was a big player in my life for a short, but meaningful time. I have never really thought about my own age in my life, and I'm not really now. You are what you are. But I have thought more about his age, even though this year we pull even.
I told myself as a result of this evening of ages, I was going to reinvent some things about me that needed attending. I cut my hair shorter than it has ever been. I re-joined a gym. I have cleaned up my eating habits, and discovered that what I don't eat is more important than what I do. I've dropped some weight, and hope to drop more, with a commitment to getting in better shape. And I feel better than I have in a while. I even decided to spend some money on myself from time to time, something I have not always been good at, all while using all of my vacation time. Many of us are guilty of all of the above.
With my dad's and my ages pulling even, he has been on my mind a bit more than normal this year. Guess I still might be thinking that he looks out for me a bit, and may even be proud of me for the small changes. But if I remember him as I think I do, he would be more proud that I thought and recognized the changes that needed to be made, and not the change itself. I have been granted more time than him, and should use it wisely.
I did not follow in his footsteps with what I chose to dedicate my educational and professional life to. But I think few children really do. We all want to make our own footprints, and that's probably a good thing in the long run. But what doesn't change is the fact that no matter how old we are, and how much things do change, we would like to think that we make our parents proud.
I have come to learn after a few decades that possibly the two best things that have happened to me, are my dad living, and then my dad passing. He gave me many tools I needed for my life, and then I was asked to use them. Although possibly too soon to push on in that different direction than he was imagining. But it's OK.
With a bit of luck, it seems I will pass him later this year, and forge on to ages far beyond what he could not. And it will feel good to go where he was not permitted, not wishing for change of the past that can not be undone.
RFW - 1977
But instead for the future, and for the changes...that can.