It comes and goes.

No fewer than seven people in my closer circles lost at least one parent this year. It was, in one case, both parents, one in January and another just last week. None of them were COVID-19 related. They were all just situations where their time had come and gone. It was time to go. Just old age. With all this going on, people still go in the old ways.

My generation is moving up to the front of the room. We are slowly but surely becoming the elders and feelings are kind of ambivalent where such things are concerned. Many of us have grown children who are having children. My own haven’t gone down that path yet but it’s coming eventually. I sure don’t want them to rush. It’s hard to conceive of them as conceiving adults when it seems like only last week they were so small. How can they be ready?

I sure wasn’t ready, but even now I don’t feel up to the responsibility of being an “elder.” What does that even mean anyway? It’s reassuring that our culture no longer really sees older people as the wise, village elders, like in eras past. I can remember the first time my son came to me, as a grown man, to ask advice. He’d taken plenty of direction from me when he was young but had never once asked me for counsel on any issue. Then one day he did. It was strange and should have been wonderful but it was more of a fright than anything else. Until I thought about it afterwards.

I don’t know. It’s just weird. We went yesterday to pay our respects to a man whom I remember being my age, and I was my son’s age.

I guess more later. Mostly I just wanted to acknowledge that some really decent people, who raised other really decent people who are important in my life, had died. I owe them each a debt of gratitude for the wisdom and counsel they imparted to me through their children.


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