All Things Fade
“All things fade and quickly turn to myth.” — Marcus Aurelius
2019 was a tough year.
I kept thinking it was going to slow down, but it wasn’t to be. I was away from home every month for work, family, or writing. On a positive(?) note, I visited much of the United States this past year: Connecticut, Washington, Tennessee, Virginia, Idaho, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Delaware, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and of course my home state of North Carolina. Then I topped it all off with a trip to Malaysia in January 2020. I feel like Phileas Fogg, only I’m not rich and eccentric (well, not rich at least.)
Even with all the travel, the toughest part of the year was dealing with my father’s death. His funeral was sandwiched between business trips and it felt like I never slowed down long enough to digest it. I am introspective by nature and need downtime to work through issues. I also tend to procrastinate when I’m stressed. It feels like my life has been on hold for months, but it’s time to get on with things.
Thinking about my father, one thought kept coming to mind. My Grandma Josie (my father’s mom) kept the family history. She knew everyone’s business. I’d sit in her kitchen in their little house in National City and she’d tell me stories about the family—this cousin, that aunt or uncle—she knew all their stories. And when they died it was never “passed away” or another polite idiom. It was always he kicked the bucket in ’72, or she finally kicked the bucket . . . That terminology stuck with me.
Well, Grandma, your boy kicked the bucket, but it’s okay because I know he’s with you and the rest of the family. You’re all sitting around the kitchen table playing cards and he’s laughing and feeling no pain. Take care of him, and save me a sugar cookie for when my time comes.
On a lighter note, both my kids moved out last year as well. I can once more walk around the house in my underwear without getting weird looks. Dad would be proud.
Life is a balance I guess.