Why did I write that post about time moving so much faster as we age? Well, I’ve been thinking lately about writing more often about that phenomenon. I mean about aging, not time. So that was an initial installment, I guess.
You can ignore them, if you prefer. I write posts such as this one mostly for my kids and grandkids, assuming the posts are still available if and when they wonder about these things. (Which may be a lot to assume.)
One thing that has put this stuff more on my mind lately is that a couple of weeks before I wrote that, I realized I had now outlived three of my four grandparents.
I had been anticipating this one. That’s because a couple of years back, I passed my maternal grandfather. That one sort of snuck up on me. I had long been used to the knowledge that I had outlived my maternal grandmother. She died when she was only 61. I was 15 at the time, so it was a lot of years before I realized how shockingly early that was.
At that point, I was shaken by the loss, but I also tended to think, Well, grandparents are really old, right? So I guess we have to accept that this might happen.
Then, in September 2021, it hit me that just a few days before, I had passed my Mom’s father as well. Both had died earlier than you would have expected, after medical incidents that one might normally expect to have gone much better than they did — especially today. Their deaths were far from inevitable, under the conditions. They did not “die of old age.”
To ease the formality… I called them “Nana” and “Pop,” and I was still a kid when we lost them. Their names were Nathalie Smith Pace and Walker Heyward Collins.
After I realized I had passed Pop, I checked the family tree and saw the date was not far off when I would pass my paternal grandfather, Gerald Harvey Warthen. He died on July 10, 1958, a couple of months short of his 70th birthday, when I was 4. (Yes, those grandparents were a good bit older than the other set. My Dad was the youngest of five.)
And now, I will reach the threescore-and-ten mark in less than… four weeks. So, another milestone.
I should point out that Granddad Warthen should have lived longer, too. He had lung cancer, which is not surprising when you see how many pictures we have of him with a cigarette, a cigar or a pipe. I was an accomplice in this. I remember him taking me on walks to a nearby shop and buying me candy cigarettes when he bought his real ones. I very much enjoyed them, but I would have much more enjoyed having my grandfather around while I was growing up.
My paternal Grandma, Mary Shiland Bradley, lived to the age of 95. That’s a high bar to reach for, and beyond most people’s expectations. Of course, my Dad lived to just short of turning 93, and my Mom is 92, and much healthier than Dad had been for several years at that age.
No sense making predictions, though. I could check out before I finish this post. If you’re reading it, though, I guess I didn’t.
But I am trying, in fits and starts, to make better use of each day. That’s a struggle for me, as it was when I was in my 20s. I am known to my intimates as being bad at quite a few things, and one of them is time management…