I woke up this morning to NPR talking about mass transit for Los Angles. They were talking about the packed roads, the long commutes and what it would take to change the culture as well as the infrastructure to incorporate mass transit. They ended the piece by saying there would be mass transit construction projects well into the middle of the century.
Laying there in bed contemplating that I realized the probability that I’d still be around at mid century were slim. And here these people were talking about something that hadn’t sounded all that far away. This realization has struck me more and more frequently lately. Not many weeks ago there was another news story, I forget what it was about, perhaps the exploration of Mars, when I suddenly realized I wouldn’t witness the event. It’s an odd feeling.
Which brings me to an update on Aunt V who is 97. She’s home again after her latest stay at a rehab facility. This one was nice; clean, she had her own room, her own bathroom and she liked the physical therapy. But she wanted to be home, and home she is again. She’s determined to get stronger so she will. She’s like that.
But I wonder what it’s like at 97 when you listen to the news and realize you have so little time ahead of you and so much time behind. Do you sit overwhelmed by the memories? Are you still interested in what will happen in the future? Or are you just waiting when you get to this stage of life?
It’s a puzzle we each get to work out if we’re lucky – how to fit all the pieces of our lives together to get the most out of each. How to stay engaged when things change. Maybe the answer is to just live and not worry about any of it.
Maybe that’s the answer.