Well, here it is; that day again, June 12. Exactly 20 years ago I promised myself that I would nurture each coming day and squeeze every last second for meaning and quality. I figured by having that kind of focus and awareness the days would last longer; and time would go slower. Instead, it has been a two decade blur, and if anything seems to have accelerated as I’ve marched resolutely, but kicking and screaming, toward the inevitable. And, you know, I resent that, but what am I to do? I even tried to stop sleeping. I mean, since our life is relatively short, why should we have to spend one-third of it in an unconscious state? Seems like a dirty trick, y’know? |
I guess I should be happy I’ve lasted this long and focus on that. My health (so far) has been robustly excellent, and I’ve been able to pursue a rigorous and athletic lifestyle. Hooray for me! Yet I find I am continually obsessed with: “When will be the last time I do something-or-other?” Like ride my bike 20 to 30 miles a day or swim 1200 to 1500 meters at will…or cut my lawn…or balance on one foot while drying off after a shower…I’ve already had to cut back on running…plantar facetious you see… Six months ago I felt and heard something rip in the area of my left bicep while doing dips, an exercise I’d been doing for years. Strangely I felt no pain, but I can tell there’s something wrong. Why me? Why must I break down? Why must I wear out?
Logically, I know the answer. All living organisms begin decaying early on whether we want to or not. At the moment of birth we are spanked into death. Rats!
With my parents gone beyond the veil of this life, and my brothers and children living on the West Coast, Kay and I will have a nice day, and go through the motions of celebrating. Truth to tell, it’s just another day although Kay and I do our best to make birthdays memorable (tolerable?) for each other. We bravely put on the face and do the drill; make our birth anniversaries as nice as we can. Don’t get me wrong; although I miss the old kid’s churning-in-the-stomach feeling of parties, gifts, and cakes; fate plays a trick and has us acting gleefully for the sake of others who try hard to keep the special feeling alive. And to show appreciation that’s just what we do. God bless those people who care.
Mom used to make angel food cakes from scratch for our birthdays, and they must have been rather tedious because she only baked them on special days. See, Mom constantly baked—almost daily: pies, cookies, and all kinds of cakes except angel food. They were out of the ordinary; extra-special. After I got to be 10-years-old or so I resented having to share this special treat so she made two; one for me and the other for the family. My brothers followed suit.
Years later, when I had a family of my own, I discovered another unusual confection: Olliberry pie, which is only available (and just on the West Coast) from late May until mid-June. This became my new birthday obsession. That’s right, I had birthday pies! Now living in the Midwest, Olliberry pie is not an option.
Kay found a Coconut cream pie in the freezer. That’ll do.
Copyright 2011 by Gene Myers.
Author of AFTER HOURS: ADVENTURES OF AN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESSMAN (Strategic Publishing Group, New York, NY) and SONGS FROM LATTYS GROVE (PublishAmerica, Fredericksburg, MD). Both available in Kindle and Nook.
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