Fall has arrived in the southwestern Colorado mountains where I live and, as expected, it has been spectacular. It’s dwindling now and nearly over since we’ve had a couple of snows and some pretty low nighttime temperatures, some dipping down into the 20’s. For whatever reason, I either become slightly depressed or really restless as this season slowly ebbs into winter.
Very recently, a friend of ours suddenly had to have a pacemaker put in when his pulse rate unexpectedly dropped to 32. As men usually do, when we first communicated after he was home from the hospital, he treated the whole situation as nothing to get excited about. But he did say something that really caused me to sit down and think. As we were discussing aging bodies, he said, “We should start out old and grow younger. Wouldn’t it be great to live, laugh and love again?”
Last night we watched Hurricane Matthew as it began to roll into Florida and they showed a picture of St. Augustine. And I remembered the very first time in my life I put my feet into an ocean, I was 21 years old and it was at night. On a long road trip to Miami Beach, we decided to stop in St. Augustine to sleep and I was so fascinated that we went down to the beach in the dark in shorts and I excitedly waded into the ocean up to my knees in the quiet warm water lit only by moonlight. I fell asleep that night listening to waves gently lapping on the beach outside our hotel window. What a wonderful memory that was! And how odd that it took something so horrendous to provoke that particular memory.
Our middle grandson’s birthday is today and the night he was born is another great memory. His mother went into the hospital in labor, so my daughter and I and our first grandson, nearly two years old, went there in late afternoon. Our husbands came together when they got off work. My daughter-in-law’s mother was in the same hospital recovering from surgery, but she was there beside her daughter, along with my son. My daughter-in-law is from a huge Italian family, so people just kept arriving and pretty soon, we had chairs all up and down the hall of the maternity floor. It became a huge gathering until my son finally stepped out of the birthing room alone and said, “It’s a boy!” Fall turned to winter that very night when the first snow of the year 1990 appeared. And that boy is now a fabulous 26-year-old man.
It seems we have lost quite a few people this fall, some old, some young and some in between. So, it’s nice to sit in the glorious fall sun, look at the beauty around us and think about the fun things we used to do when we were young and plan the things we’ve yet to do as we age. My grandkids all live out of town now and the one who was almost two on this date 26 years ago, tragically left us when he was 21. He’ll always be the most wonderful memory of all.