Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Aging is a funny thing…as you’re aging, so are those older than you…eventually, they slip away, one by one. It would probably be unbearable, except nature offsets loss by birth…nieces, nephews, grandchildren.
I attended my grandmother’s memorial service in northern California last weekend, which set many thoughts in motion. I have a lot to appreciate in life, in part due to my grandmother. A huge part of who I am was shaped by her—via my dad, her actions, my dad’s siblings.
Interestingly, there was tremendous heartache in my family…for multiple generations. And through it all, my relatives persevered, doing the best they could. That’s not to say there wasn’t pain caused by actions that never should have happened, because, of course, there was.
But through it all, every generation found the strength to keep going…trying to make things better. And every generation gained skill—regarding relationships, parenting, friendship. I think that’s all you can ask for in life…that every generation be better than the one preceding.
All this is on my mind, because I’ve produced another generation who’s trying to find its way in the world. A generation who will face things I’ve never faced…who are emerging into a computer-based world that I will never completely understand. Let’s face it, every time Facebook changes its layout, I endure weeks of confusion.
I honestly don’t know what the future holds for my children, because things are changing exponentially. All I can hope is that the roots D and I’ve provided will help them persevere…that our positive affects outweigh the inevitable negative ones we’re bound to have.
As I followed Highway 101 north, driving home last weekend, all these thoughts cascaded through my mind. The sky was crystal clear…never in my life has that drive occurred during a cloudless, ice-blue sky. The north coast of California tends to be enveloped in clouds and fog, just like the coast of Oregon.
Some would say my grandmother was paving the way, and maybe they’re right. What I know for certain is that it was a beautiful, peaceful, fulfilling drive. Via soul searching, I learned a lot along the way…enough to help me connect with the next generation a little more than I could two weeks ago.
So, I will trust my heart and my memories and continue adding to the scaffolding that began many years before I was born. As long as I don’t shake the foundation too much, my children should have a pretty good base upon which to possibly start another generation. And that’s something that I know would make my grandmother smile…