Monday, July 14, 2008

Phases of Life

My dad is turning 90 in September, and my sister and I are in discussion about planning a surprise party for him. Nothing super elaborate or large, but something special, heartfelt and memorable for all involved.

Last night, I attended a wedding for a third cousin with my dad. There I saw relatives many of whom I haven't seen in years or perhaps never met. My dad is one of 7, so there's quite a number of them on both his mother's and father's side. But, he only has one sibling living at present, a brother in Florida.

It got me thinking about the cycle of life. I am so grateful for my dad. I lost my mom over 10 years ago, and have blogged about that. And, I often wonder how long he will live (not that I want to think negatively). He has had a number of health challenges over the last few years in particular, and his age is catching up with him. I never viewed him as old. Age wasn't a factor. He's my dad, and that's what counts.

Looking at him now makes me all the more conscious of the passsge of time, and the phases we all go through.

At the wedding last night I sat next to a cousin in her 50s who was talking about aches 'n pains she never had before. And, how with each decade of life, comes wisdom and body changes. We do our best to help ourselves, but we can't control the entirety of our health.

Seeing the couple get married and knowing they're about to start their lives together, makes you realize the sweetness of life. Another couple there, cousins of my dad, said they are married over 50 years, and two beautiful sets of grandchildren were also parttaking in the wedding festivities last night.

It was so nice to be together for a happy occasion. For a while there, funerals seemed all too prevalent in my family, as I lost uncles and aunts, seemingly in clusters.

I have always found it hard to accept that losing loved ones is part of life.

When I spoke to my husband last night after getting home from the wedding (he & my son didn't attend), another phase of life presented itself and made me smile. I asked him how things went with him and my son while I was out with my dad. I had left them at our community pool, and they had dinner out.

He proceeded to tell me what a little daredevil Seth is becoming in the water. How after I left, Seth asked him over 'n over again to throw him over his shoulder into the water. And, how he and a little friend wanted to jump into the pool backwards before the lifeguard stopped them out of concern for their safety.

I my son is practically doing backflips, and my dad has his moments of struggling to walk steadily.

Aging is surely not easy, though it happens to the best of us.

I am so grateful to have an energetic spirit like Seth in my life, and hope that my dad will continue to enjoy him as well and share stories from his childhood. Maybe it will take him back to his days of youth, and I can see that spark in his eye. He, too, was once Seth's age, and the years have flown by.

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