I've been thinking about mortality a lot lately, and not in the way that should cause anyone any worry. No, I've been thinking about the people in my life that have died, how death has affected me, and will affect me. Those of you who have been reading regularly know that my ex and I have been on tenuous footing but lately we've been talking a bit more, since his work has him in my town. He has been dealing with his own emotional issues and part of it, I think, is unresolved grief. I've told him this. He's a man who has known death. At fourteen, he found his father's body. He lost his grandfather early, then his uncle to cancer. This past December, he lost his sweet Oma. On occasion, he would play songs that his father used to play on the guitar. Recently, we listened to "House of the Rising Sun" by the Animals, and when the song was over, I said to him "when you play me your father's music, I feel like I know him."
Recently I wrote about my mother and I going to the fair together. While we walked through the huge exhibit hall, we stopped to admire the quilts. But looking at the quits just made me sad, and I felt tears sting in my eyes as I realized that the two women in my life that quilted-- my Nana and Grammie-- are gone and I will not receive a wedding quilt when I get married, like my sister did. And when it comes to thoughts of marriage, I'm 32 years old. I am the youngest of four by a large margin: my sister is 10 years older than me, my oldest brother is 15 years older than me. My father is in his seventies. One of the fears I have when I think on my own mortality is that I and everyone else is getting older and what if I don't get married in time to have my father walk me down the aisle? I know these are silly things to dwell on, but they hit me suddenly. Both sides of my family are blessed with a sort of agelessness. You'd never know my father was in his seventies and my mother in her late sixties, unless I told you. Most people can't guess my age accurately. But sometimes it just hits me, you know, when I look at Dad and think "Dad's getting old" and I hate the train of thought that comes after. Thinking about mortality is a horrible burden. Time is a burden. It freaks me the fuck out. Even my oldest brother David mentioned on his Facebook one day that he's not far from fifty and that kind of hit me. My brother can't be that old. I can't be this old. When the hell did my twenties end?
I try not to think on it too much, but really, the wedding thing gets me more than it should.