Suzanne Fluhr knows that every single day is a gift – especially after turning 60.Read more on her blog, Boomeresque
If you’re a Baby Boomer, you’ve been on this planet long enough to probably concur with the statement: “Life is a trip.”
I recently celebrated a milestone birthday. As I suspect it has for many, this occasioned a good deal of reflection on my life so far and my hopes and expectations for the future.
The mental review of my six decades on this planet filled me with gratitude. I was blessed with a
n interesting happy childhood, and was born into the first generation (in the United States anyway) where it was almost considered “normal” for a woman to aspire to higher education and a career. I found Steve, a life partner who, as trite as it may sound, has been my best friend and my port in the storm for almost 32 years. (Second time is definitely the charm.) We produced two sons who we were able to shepherd through the shoals of adolescence and who appear to have emerged as solid citizens.
My joining my husband, Steve, as a 60 year old had us both concluding that “the rest is gravy”. Life owes us nothing more. If we were to depart this life now (cover your ears Evil Eye!); hopefully, some people would be sad, but it wouldn’t be a tragedy.
It felt that we had no sooner reached this conclusion when the phone rang with news of a family tragedy. It was Steve’s sister, calling to inform us that Steve’s younger brother (10 years younger!), had died suddenly. The healthy one. The runner. The guy who ate right, who could limit himself to just one spoonful of ice cream.
We snared the last two seats on the red-eye from Honolulu through Phoenix to Chicago. We spent the day dry eyed, in shock, unable to get our heads around the news. The tears came when we joined other family members and listened to his brave wife and teenage daughters describe the hole in their lives left by the loss of their husband and father.
Our sons flew in from Philadelphia and Miami. (If there had been a prize for the family that collectively traveled the farthest to be there, we would have won it). We were grateful we could sit, all four of us, squeezed together on the couch and in the three person back seat of a rental car. When I mentioned how much it helped to grieve with other loved ones, someone told me about a Swedish proverb: “Shared joy is a double joy. Shared sorrow is half a sorrow.”
With my little recent health scare and our untimely loss, Carpe diem resonates for us lately. It is doubtful that Mr. and Mrs. Excitement will suddenly turn into wild and crazy people. I don’t see any motorcycles in our future. Steve isn’t planning to retire. However, for us, “Don’t postpone joy” has become so much more than a bumper sticker.