In these days in December, the world is often too much with me. So much more so this year.
This is the tenth anniversary of Mom’s death, HOSOB lost both his parents in this year, Dad and Aunt Glue are both failing. So, frankly, are the remnants of Mom’s family. Their deaths will seal a generation. They were the first ones born on American soil and they laid the foundations for our generation to grow and thrive. We stand on their shoulders.
SOB and I know that we, along with our many first cousins, will soon assume the mantel of our family’s eldest generation. The ones who are supposed to know everything, have the wisdom of the ages, the memories and secrets of the past generations, and the answers to the questions (whatever they may be) and, yes, the next wave of those to leave this earth (G-d willing). We are up to bat in a baseball game, as it were.
It is only now that these giants of my parents’ generation seem so young and human. Now I understood that Mom and Dad and the uncles and the aunts were as clueless then as are we now. The mantra, just keep moving because it is better than running in place or, worse, standing still, is still the mantra of our generation.
As long as Dad and Aunt Glue are still alive, there is always the illusion (although, not the reality) that there are elders who know more, who can bless us and what we do, and who can lead us out of the darkness and into the light.
But the truth is that wisdom comes from reflecting on the past. Humility comes from failure. Regret comes from somehow knowing if you were sure enough of your convictions and felt strong enough to press your point of view, the outcome would have been better.
The lessons of the generations that must be learned again by each succeeding generation. Over and over, until the end of time.
This is life and its journey. These are some of the immutable facts that govern the species.
One day, maybe this will change. Until then, I will try to act with kindness, with humility and with the memory of those who came before me — what they did right and what went terribly wrong.