Today would have been my brother’s 90th birthday. He would never have lived that long. More people are doing so, however. I read the obituaries and I notice how many people are in their 80s or 90s when they die. Does anyone remember the comedian George Burns? (1896-1996) He lived a few months past his hundredth birthday. As he was approaching the century mark he used to say he wasn’t worried about dying at one hundred because you don’t see many people dying at that age.
There’s no doubt now that people are living, and dying, at that age. Just look at birthday cards. It used to be hard to find a card for anyone over 80. Not any more. You have a choice of cards for 70-, 80- and 90-year-olds, and even a couple for celebrating the centenary.
I don’t really want to talk about celebrating birthdays, though. I’m thinking about all the ones who have gone, who have left me, I want to say. See, not only my brother has left. So also have my husband (long before), my father, mother, aunts and uncles and their children, too. I have one cousin left, several years younger than I.
Friends, too. It’s getting so I dread receiving –or not - Christmas cards. I remember my mother used to watch us taking down the Christmas tree and saying cheerfully, “I wonder who’ll be gone next year when we put up the tree.” I call that milestone thinking. Yes, well – I guess the only reason the die-hards (and I use the term deliberately) keep sending cards is to assure others of their continuing presence on the planet.
“I’m here!” (So far.)
I miss my friends, even ones I haven't seen for ages, especially ones I haven't seen for ages. If I start thinking of people I haven’t seen since. …When? … there’s not much point in trying to locate them. They are gone.
Small wonder that I cling to my blog. (Hello, Blog.) You’re still here, thank you. Hang in there.