Leaves that are green

It occured to me this afternoon on my way home from the East Bay (see next entry) that a year from now, I'll be as old as my mother was when she died.

That really struck me, somehow, in ways that other related thoughts (like the thought that when my mother was my current age, she had an 11-year-old and a 9-year-old) never quite did. I'm trying to imagine what it would be like to learn at age 32 or so that you had leukemia, to be told that you have a few months left to live, to manage to stretch that into five years. And then to die in your mid-thirties.

I know different people go through different stages of life at different times; I know that Marcy at 32 wasn't at the same place in her life that I was; ages aren't really comparable that way. And I know that plenty of other people die that young, and much younger for that matter. But still, I found the thought unexpectedly sobering.

I'm trying not to be melodramatic about this; I know it isn't one of the Big Profound Insights of the Ages or anything. Just an interesting thought that gave me pause.

One Response to “Leaves that are green”

  1. naomi_traveller

    I’ve been thinking about mortality and lifespan a lot this weekend. Maybe too much reading about living with AIDS in my netramblings. Sometimes I think I am in so much of a rush to get on to other things (writing, career stuff, family stuff) that I have to make myself stop and appreciate the moment, this moment.

    If you knew your life was going to be much shorter, would you really do much differently?

    Sometimes I think – yes! everything! And yet, a surprising amount of the time, I think – maybe not so much after all.

    Death is really the only point in anyone’s life when you can look at the sum total and say: “yes. this is all she did and the story is ended.” It’s a sadness and a wonder.

    For what it’s worth, I happen to think your own sum total to this point is pretty spiff and inspiring in its own right. I’ve come in at the middle, but I’m hoping to know you better lots of years from now and keep finding out what other chapters you keep on adding…


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