Yesterday I got the news that my oldest living Aunt died in the morning. My Uncle, her husband, is the oldest living relative in my immediate family. He is the last of his generation and I quickly realized that once he is gone, I and my sisters and first cousins will become the family’s new oldest living generation.
I believe there is a responsibility that comes with that honor. It’s fascinating that we buy into a multi-billion dollar industry that not only helps us piece together our family history but for many, sheds new light (or perhaps the only light) on family members just one or two generations back. Information not passed down by the family Bible that contains the family tree or even an oral tradition of keeping family members and folk lore alive in our hearts and minds.
At sixty years old I’m looking at the world much differently these days. Death feels closer than ever before and the passing of time holds more and less meaning as I accept the inevitable. Whether it’s just a few days or forty more years, contemplation of old age and death is different at sixty than it was at thirty.
I hear many people saying, “I don’t want to be old!” And all I can think is, “Well, we are…”
And frankly, I like it.