Like sands through the hourglass--these are the days of our lives. So goes the title of a still-running TV soap opera. It's an apt description, though, of how quickly and relentlessly time passes. At age 73, I do think about this sometimes. It's only human to realize one's time on earth is finite. I find myself wondering: Have I done enough in my life? Are there still things to be done, goals to be accomplished?
My very clever eight-year-old granddaughter Lena provided a stark reminder the other night while riding in the car. We were talking about nicknames, especially hers. From the time she was a baby we've affectionately referred to her as Lena Bean. Her aunt Alison takes it a step further, calling her "my bean." I jokingly said, "We'll probably still be calling you that when you're an old lady." Lena shot back, "Well, you won't." You could almost hear the rim shot before the laugh came.
I always expected to live a long time. My grandma Emma almost made it to her 100th birthday. My maternal grandfather died at 97 (his mother lived to 101). My mom passed away at 91, so genetically, I've got a pretty good chance at being around for a while, maybe getting into my 90s. I do hope to see my three grandchildren graduate from high school and college, see where their career starts to take them and maybe even marry. Great-grandchildren may not happen while I'm still here, but that's OK.
Some of my closest friends and, sadly, my own brother Pete, never got to experience those milestones. When I see their wonderful children and grandchildren, I'm painfully aware of their loss and the impact it's had on everyone. I resolved long ago never to complain about getting older, because not everyone gets that privilege. I'll trade the aches and pains of aging for the joy of life anytime. And yes, I'll always call my granddaughter Lena Bean.
I'm Chris Barabasz, retired from a 35-year career managing communications for health care development (that's fundraising for you civilians). I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. My husband Andy and I moved from Delaware to Texas to be closer to our daughters and three adorable grandchildren.