Please say it isn't so...
Have you seen that insurance commercial
where the guy worries he's becoming his
mother? Stranger things have happened.
At this point in life I frequently freak out
when I emulate my parent's quirks. Yet for
many reasons I know that I am not alone.
Thus it seems that at least for most of us -
we all become a reflection of who and how
we were raised. That doesn't mean that soon
I'll be wearing an organdy apron and pearls.
Rather it's indication that all of us are in the
midst of endless recycling. A full circle ride
where we all come to the same conclusion.
While I deeply respect my dearly departed
parents - it's highly doubtful that they were
much smarter from the rest. Nor that in truth
they came to any illumination dramatically
different than the balance of their peers. In
truth experience is a group effort. Thus each
generation goes through the same collective
cycle together. And as said subset ages - they
finally put the pieces together. And then... die.
During said process those who immediately
follow suddenly discover that their parents
are as human as they are. The fact of which
can be either redemptive, punitive, or both.
Far into adult education, my parents had me
later in life. Like any tot I considered all that
they said gospel. Post coming into my own
I shifted to skepticism. Questioning any and
all advice ever given. In part because I now
knew that they weren't perfect. A fact which
frankly pissed me off. Obviously embracing
one's elder's weaknesses can ultimately be
empowering. However only when one finds
they are doing exactly the same things their
folks did for exactly the same reasons. Thus
deja vu not karma is a bitch slap of reality.
And we all know how that story will end...
If nothing else - facing the prospect of one's
imminent demise is a wake up call. As we
Boomers age, it's obvious we're not willing
to go down easily. And yet - are we all that
different from our parents? My father retired
"early" at age sixty two. Way back then he
seemed ancient to me. Yet in truth Dad was
about to embark on the best years of his life.
The next decade was filled with satisfaction.
A respite that was more than deserved given
he was later diagnosed with Alzheimer's and
literally "lost it." All of which causes me to
wonder exactly what I'm waiting for?!
All of which leads me to the conclusion that
I've become my Father. Which given who he
was and how he lived his life is perfectly fine
with me. History repeats itself. Thus my hope
is that I will somehow influence others in a
positive light. Ultimately the little things are
what matters. Subtle nuances - off handed
compliments - random advice - unsolicited
observations - all of which unintentionally
fuel our individual legacies. As obsolescence
is our ultimate destination, we might as well
enjoy this round trip. And if we end up half as
smart as our parents - then all the BETTER!