I went to my Aunt Peg’s 100th birthday party last weekend, and what an amazing life she has had. It is hard to grasp the enormity of living for 100 years, and the changes that you would see through all those years. She lived through the Industrial Revolution, was there at the beginning of flight, at the time of the Wright Brothers. Air travel and space exploration was hers to see. She has also had hardships that I can only imagine.
There were at least 300 people there, and homemade food on tables the length of the room. It was interesting that you could almost pass from one generation to the other, just by walking around and intruding into conversations going on. There were the old timers with walkers, canes, wheelchairs, and hearing aids. Then take a few steps and you were engaged in talk of the economy and words of warning that they were signs of another depression. There was concern over the cost of living and anxiety for the future. Then you could mosey to the next group and hear talk of taking care of teenagers and “what are we ever going to do with them?” On a few feet are the young people with little kids tugging at pants legs, and holding their plates out for more food. Then the young mothers with babies talking about formula and discipline, were all abuzz with their problems.
I thought to myself…you can cover 100 years of personal experiences, pain, success, worries, triumphs, and all of them are real. All are things each has experienced. It was an amazement to me, even though I have been around these folks my whole life. Now, I notice I am into the older group, but …not the oldest! Aunt Peg gets the prize for the oldest.
Now I know this is not of earth shattering interest to many who will read my column today, but many of you will identify with the acute awareness of the passage of time. To be in a family where you were a baby in arms, to where you have your own great-grandchild, is pretty awesome. Geez, I thought. Who needs a history book? We have a century of first-hand experiences right here in these rooms.
Cherish each day, and each person, because we are all here for such a limited time. I sure never thought when I was a teenager dating my boyfriend, Rich, that I would someday be retired and moving right along on that old conveyer belt.
So, much happiness to all of you. Be grateful for what you have and ignore what you have not. You are a gift to this world or you wouldn’t be here. I hope all of us live to receive all those hugs on our 100th birthdays!
By the way…I got a response from Chief-of-Police Trostle and we are searching the genealogy to confirm that he belongs to us!