I constantly profess how young I feel compared to my chronological age. For years I was twenty-six. It didn't matter what the calendar said, I was still twenty-six. Within the past year or so, I've bumped my age up to twenty-eight. Not quite sure why, but it feels right.
Before today, I could not speak to the reasons that made me feel older or younger. Today, however, today I did one thing which has caused me to feel older.
My Uncle passed away at a very awkward moment - it was literally less than 48 hours before I was to get on a plane with my three kids and head to Disney World for an extended Thanksgiving vacation. My husband had separate travel arrangements and was meeting us there having been out of town all week on business. My sister and brother-in-law and their three kids also were flying in for the holiday. Being a practical person, I had no idea what his death would mean to the immediate plans.
My Uncle's wife, Karen, knew of our planned combined vacation. She knew that sisters living 3,000 miles apart having the opportunity to spend a holiday together, with our families, cousins playing with cousins, was something that didn't happen often. Karen, the beautiful, giving woman that she is, recognized the importance. She knew that with the death of our Uncle, we'd need each other more than ever. Being cremated and with no particular religious requirements, there was no rush for services. Karen, as usual, gave of herself and gave my sister and me the precious gift of time. Time for sisters to be together, to share in our grief. Time for our families to enjoy what we could of our long-planned vacation. And so we carried on with our plan. We went on vacation.
Now vacation is over and it's time to do what must be done. Being the so-called "writer" in the family, I offered to Karen, no, I suggested, that I help write my Uncle's obituary. There was a basic one put in the local paper back East, but I wanted more. I wanted more of Uncle Mike in it because he was so much more to me. I have never thought about having to write an obituary. I don't recall my mother's obituary at all. But today I wrote an obituary. Today I feel older.