OMG. The Big 8-Oh!

Holy Crap. Mom’s 80!St. Patty (2)

That was my daughter’s planned heading for the invitation to my St. Patrick’s Day birthday celebration. She also had planned that I would make lasagna to serve the guests so she could say, “This is how Italians celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.” (I am only half Italian but that’s okay; I do make pretty good lasagna.) In the end, we decided to skip the whole idea because many of the probable invitees would also that weekend, with us, be honoring the memory of someone else’s mother who recently died in her eighties . The event for me seemed suddenly more inappropriate even than that heading.

These days my thoughts are, probably not surprisingly, centered on the swiftness of time’s passage, along of course with many memories and sadness for those who have already gone.

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was counting the days to the birthday on which I would be eligible for my driving test? I went that very day, aced the test in someone else’s car, and went home to hit up my father for his car keys. I still remember the exhilaration of that first solo drive. And now I’ve just experienced my first use of the ride-sharing app my daughter installed on my phone. Time moves along. Now, all of us of a certain age live in terror of the day they’ll think it’s best to take away our cars altogether. How did we get here?

I’m not complaining. I realize how fortunate we are — we of what was called America’s Silent Generation — to have lasted so long. In my case, it’s longer than either of my parents. And that thought ushers in more melancholy ones. Like what did I do with all that extra time I was given? Write great literature? Solve world peace?

Okay, enough. This can only get more morose. Somebody better give me a mug of green beer – quick!

Mug of green beer

10 comments on “OMG. The Big 8-Oh!

  1. soverelfield says:

    Oh, no – don’t be discouraged! That was an interesting vignette. And don’t forget the White Queen’s admonishment to Alice: ” Consider what a great girl you are. Consider what a long way you’ve come today…”

  2. Dorothy says:

    This cannot be true!

  3. Roger Keyser says:

    I love that cute picture of you as a little girl, cleverly superimposed in a cloverleaf. I picture our Uncle Bill producing that art in the darkroom he constructed in their little apartment. I wonder if he were alive today, would he be dabbling with the so-much-easier digital photography techniques available now? Probably not. I can imagine him, more likely, saying something like, You know, back in our day, we had to….”

    Happy Birthday, big sister!

  4. patnieder says:

    Thanks, Roger. As I’m sure you are aware, there’s a lot of fuss made over the first grandchild. But there are pictures of you and the others as well, just not with the St. Patrick’s motif.

    Uncle Bill used the apartment bathroom to develop, print and experiment with more creative photography like that picture. As I recall, it was a pretty small bathroom. And when he was finished, he put everything away and the room resumed its original purpose.

  5. Carolyn Niethammer says:

    Well, happy birthday anyway. Why not hop on the train and come over here for a few days? You can admire my garden and we’ll take you out to dinner. But do it soon. We’ve got about 6 more weeks of good weather. We’ll be in the LA area late May-early June for the adoption ceremony for the baby girl my niece has been fostering for the last year. The poor dear was abandoned at the hospital but the state of California is very deliberate about final papers.

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