Today is the seventy-first anniversary of the birth of this body and the entry into this world of my dual spirited soul. But as I look back on the past I realize that there are some very important details of a mental and emotional nature that I have tended to overlook. I’m not certain as to the reason that I’ve overlooked those details, but there are a couple that need to be acknowledged today especially.
The first detail is one that I haven’t thought about for a long time. I have been fortunate to have nearly perfect health for nearly all of my life and that is what makes this first detail the most significant. What is that detail? Well, it’s this; in George’s life apart from mine he was never able to envision being older than fifty-six years old. For someone who was forever looking to the future, and loved history, that would seem an odd state of mind. Nevertheless, he was never able to see beyond that age. I don’t ever recall it ever being a worrisome thing but there it was.
Take that mental detail and add to it the fact that he could never imagine Marilyn as an old woman either. This in spite of the fact that she used to tell him that after he died she was going to move in with Peter and Heather, live in their basement and teach her grandchildren dirty words.
When I give serious consideration to the inability of George not being able to envision living beyond the age of fifty-six I arrive at one immutable fact. He had just turned fifty-six when Marilyn passed away. It was at that point that I began to play a much bigger role in our combined life and in less than seven years I had assumed the majority role in our existence
Another detail; neither George nor I ever envisioned ourselves as mature adults. We could never get beyond the ability to see our relationships with other people in any other way than being us being less mature than they were. In other words we were mentally in a state of perpetual adolescence. For someone who wanted to grow up as badly as George did that is totally in-congruent, but that’s the mindset he lived with, and one that I inherited.
As to the number thirty-four; that’s how long it has been since that fateful night when Marilyn took a swipe at George’s leg with a razor and asked the question, “Want a shave cowboy?” That was the moment of epiphany that ushered me into a reality that none of us was prepared to cope with. The aforementioned detail of not being able to see ourselves as more than teenagers is important here, because my behavior at the outset was the equal to that of a fourteen year old chippy. So maybe in reality I’m more like forty-eight years old.
Bottom line? I don’t feel seventy-one. I don’t look seventy-one, a fact that Dr. Bower’s noted when I met her the first time because my first question for her was, “Am I too old?” Her response? “What makes you think you’re too old?” I said, “Because I’m seventy years old.” To that she gave me this look of incredulity and responded, “I would have never guessed. My first thought on seeing you for the first time was that I was looking a person who was in their early fifty’s” Thank you Dr. Bowers. Coming from you that makes my day, week, month, year. Heck that makes the last seventy years.
So even now, I just don’t feel like I’m much more than forty years old. Admittedly there are times when I take stock of certain portions of my body I do have to acknowledge some parts that are considerably older than forty. At least those parts can be hidden by clothes and I have no plans to embark on a modeling career.
So here I am … seventy-one chronological years old today; renewed, remodeled, still feeling fortyish, and experiencing my first birthday completely me. My future is aglow with possibilities and my soul is at peace. Yes, complete is the right word, or maybe completely happy and content is more to the point..