Monday, May 28, 2007


"TO EVERYTHING, TURN, TURN, TURN..." I turned 48 yesterday and my family made me feel as good as possible at the turning. Over a lighted cake, they sang the birthday song along with our family tradition: the death dirge. My sister and brother-in-law came over for a cook-out (on a new gas grill Becky and the kids gave me) and we all spent the evening together. Presents were opened and cards both tacky and poignant were passed around. I appreciate all this. It made me feel good.

MARK THE DAYS. Maybe birthday celebrations become more important the older we get. Though we may loathe the thought of turning another year older, the light-heartedness and assurance of loved ones and friends somehow transforms an otherwise ominous day. We all want to know our days and years are passed with some notice and a birthday party can keep this hope burning.

QUICKLY PASSING. My father-in-law, now in his early seventies, told me on Saturday that the next 20 years will go by faster than I can imagine. Wow. It's hard to fathom how fast the last twenty years have gone. Only yesterday, I was 28. And tomorrow I will be approaching 70? If so, will I still feel 28, as I do today? And, if I am given this time, how best can I invest it and to what extent might I be permitted to choose?

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