“But though falling autumn leaves may reveal skeletal branches, spring reclothes the wood; a beloved grandmother dies, but as compensation for the loss, her grandchild enters the world strong and curious; when one day ends, the next begins, for in this infinite universe there is no final conclusion to anything, definitely not to hope. From the ashes of the old age, another age is born and birth is hope.”
– Dean Koontz, 1987 Twilight Eyes, W.H.Allen & Co., London, p.9

And so life goes on! Turning 50 has made me look back on the last 20 years in particular and the people who have left this world, together with the ones who have entered. Life does ebb and flow – death comes to all, but the circle continues to turn and for each person gone, many more have entered my life. Some have passed through, others joined me for a while along the way. In the end though the last journey is one we all do alone.

I don’t wish to be maudlin here but looking forward I know that the next twenty years will also bring great change. My Mum is 77 next week in the seventh month of the seventh year of the 21st century, which happens to be three times 7, all of which proves that you can look for 7’s in most places, and come to any conclusion you want to about that. But I know for sure that it is likely that she will leave at some time in the next 20 years and I hope in a dignified way and still in full possession of her marbles. I’ve seen several loved ones with dementia and the hardest part is that you can’t tell the moment that they have finally gone. It is the lingering that hurts more than anything.

I look forward to watching the continued change in my children as they grow older and reach adulthood themselves – I hope that they give me a little more credit for intelligence and good humour than I remember giving my parents. I wish more than anything that the distant father I seem to have become in the past few years is one that they seek out and whose company they enjoy. I fear growing old without them.

Time now for living, for company, for something other than work, an overseas trip, an exploration of space as well as that of time and self that I have been on for the past year.

What I want to conclude is that it is perhaps time to live like I was dying.


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