It’s fitting that the end of the year and the decade fall on the Slice of Life day. So many thoughts running through my head about family, friends, opportunities (both gained and lost), so much reflection about what 48 years, living in five separate decades, two separate centuries, and two millennia. Damn, I’m old! 🙂
Everything comes back to three people in my life: my wife, Melissa and my daughters, Gabrielle and Faith. It seems they’ve been here forever, and Melissa basically has. We’ve been together since my birthday in 1990 when she made me a birthday cake and used gummy letters to spell out, “Happy Birthday”. She did this with no oven and very limited supplies (that’s my first indication that she was an amazing cook).
I know I’ve written about them before, but it goes without saying, I’m not the person I am today without them in my life.
I’ve thought a lot about my in-laws as well. We lost them in 2006 and 2008 respectively, and we really had to grow up at that point. Melissa took over as the manager of her family’s farm and we’ve taken the role of ” Mom and Dad” in a sense, trying to keep everyone on an even keel. This last decade has been spent keeping the family traditions alive that have been important to her mom and dad. This past Christmas, her aunt and uncle joined us for the first time during family Christmas and commented a couple of times about how “proud Don and Pat would be, seeing this today.” We do throw a heck of a Christmas with everyone doing their part to make the meal and the day joyful! That made me smile and sad at the same time. They were gone way too soon.
My own parents, in the last 10 years, have seen a marked decline, not so much in healthy, but just in activity level. As I watch and listen to them talking about moving into town, there’s sorrow in my heart because it means coming home will be different. Our tradition has been seeing them for Christmas Eve services, then trekking home for our own Christmas the next day. We’ve missed a couple of years here and there, but it’s important to us that we carry on. Our Christmas meals have always been fun, ranging from pizza, to cheese and crackers, to this year, an assortment of soups. But always laughter and joy because that’s who my parents are: happy and joyful. At some point, that tradition will have to change, but right now, it stands good and true.
And for us, the last decade has been a whirlwind of change from own job moving classroom twice and grade levels four times to my wife starting in the Head Start classroom, leaving it to be an educational coach, and moving back into the classroom, but in a regular school district. Our daughters both grew up, graduated, and have been successful in college. We’ve grown older, wiser, grayer (damnit), and continue to push each other to be the best people we can be.
Honestly, this next decade scares the sh*t out of me. I could retire. My wife could retire. Both of my daughters will be out of college, hopefully making a living doing something they love. My parents could meet or exceed life expectancy. Hell, I’ll turn 50!
#Yupoldmyfriend #rememberwhen40wasold #Ido
But in that fear of the unknown, so many opportunities. My kids will be out of college, so where will they be and when can we visit? 🙂 My parents move into town, so how can we help? We’ve talked about moving. Where? When? Why on earth would we move from our little piece of heaven? Can we retire? Do we need to? Do I want to?
Yes, so many questions, so few answers. But, if we knew the answers, it wouldn’t be fun now, would it? 🙂
Enjoy your New Year’s Eve and please, be safe. I want you back next Tuesday or whenever you happen to read this blog.
As for 2020 and the next decade, it will be a grand adventure, this for certain! 🙂