I wonder if it would detract from it if we knew what we were experiencing was going to be one of the best times in our lives. I know many times I have said and heard others say, “I had the best time.” Or, “I am having the best time.” but in retrospect, you don’t know if it is the best time of your life until you have all the other times to compare it to.
I’m quite a bit older than most of you, and I strongly feel that the best times of my life are in the past. I find it discouraging but believe it. When my daughter was in college she had an apartment on Sheridan Road. (That is a well-known street if you know Chicago.) I think waving to Ben in the window as I walked to my car and eating at the Italian restaurant across the street and talking to the chubby waiter who was so glad to be talking to us are the best times I can remember so far. They are like huge photographs on the wall of my life. Crystal clear.
There are many other wonderful moments but none that stand out like those two. I am sure it is because of where I was in my life and the fact that everything seemed so vital and on-rushing.
My dad was by for Sunday dinner again and it is something that I feel more and more I must do. But it is something that I become more and more discouraged by. He has had a colorful and very good life. He worked very hard, but he has also been very very fortunate. I truly believe that is at least half of the equation. Now, it is like he looks at his life through the wrong end of the telescope. I have a lot of terrible and some not so terrible stuff going on in my life right now that I mostly cannot talk about. But you must believe me when I say it is totally distracting. And his focus is so narrow. He no longer has any concept of “life” as it is in the universal scheme of things. (Do any of us?) And–he can’t hear–if I were to relate any of this problematic stuff to him, he would say, “It’ll all work out for the best.” Or, “That happens to everyone.” Or some other stale, useless comment. And it is more than depressing to hear him go on and on about how he is not really living anymore. Life is no fun anymore. Especially when you see pictures on the internet of an acquaintance’s infant hooked up to a bunch of tubes to keep him alive.
But, in truth, there really is nothing anyone can say that will make pain go away. Nothing but time. I hope I have enough time that these dreadful moments I am living will pale in comparison to the bright and lovely memories I cherish.
I never recall feeling like I had a personal stake in the election. Actually, I don’t. I am at a point that, regardless of who is elected, my life will go on much the same on a day to day basis. And probably, when I am on the death list I will be asking to be moved up closer to the top. And maybe I won’t have to live to see my grand daughter wearing a burkha or taking her girl babies to be circumcised. Whoa, you are thinking. Here goes Ditty off her nut again. Uh uh. Stoning of Christians in Dearborn, Michigan. And the police chief says, “Well, you shouldn’t be here. What did you expect?” This is not sanctioned battles to the death in the arenas of the gladiators. This is a picnic in the state across the lake from me. Get real folks. History is on the line here. Not just my boring personal day to day existence. I feel fear.
What are the best times of your life? Are you waiting for them to happen? Are they behind you? Do you see better days ahead for any of us? For yourself?