On August 17, 1954, we were in Nassau, the Bahamas, an old married couple of 2 days! We had flown on BOAC (British Airways), a grand plane that had a lovely bar/café on its second level. I was 18 and it was my first flight ever. I’m remembering again the fabulous moon on that wonderful night…it was big and bright and rounder than any moon I had ever seen. For me, it held the secrets of all I’d ever dreamed and the promises of my new life to come.
Jason and I had 63 years together, from the time we met at the Colony Club, one year before our wedding. This is not a good time for me because it brings back memories that are as painful as they are sweet. I miss him, I miss the “me” I was, I miss the hustle and bustle of a life just starting.
Einstein was so right: Time IS relative. Looking back I don’t remember where it went…Everything in my mind seems to have happened just yesterday.
Sometimes, when I refer to a time “a few years ago”, my daughters will correct me and say, “Mom, that was 60 years ago, not a few years.” To me, at this point in my life, 60 years is just a snap of the fingers.
Where did it all go? When did life slip through my hands and leave only memories? In my head I’m still that new bride, boarding a plane for the first time and wondering what the future had in store for me. It’s as if I held my breath for a moment and when I exhaled, the future became the past.
I had never lived alone. I commuted to college in New York City, returned to my parents’ home at night and then lived with my husband. In 60 some odd years the world has changed tremendously. Women have become more independent; men and women live together before marriage and wed ‘at last’ not ‘at first’; the economy is such that even when children come, and that’s much later than before, mothers must work in order to maintain their lifestyle. Many children are in pre-nursery school at just a few months.
My mother worked when my sister and I were young. She joined my father in his practice as his nurse. Our caregivers were our paternal grandparents who lived with us in a three generational home. In today’s world, many grandparents must continue to work in order to support themselves. Also, because people wait longer to have children, grandparents are not as spry as in the old days.
It seems to me the more devises we create to ease our labor, the harder we have to work. It’s kind of an oxymoron!
The founder of my college believed all women should be prepared for a profession but should not work until their children were in school. She did not realize that someday women would have to contribute in order to live even a simple life. As the world grew smaller women expanded their view of what life could be and demanded the independence given only to men in past decades. And why not? Just because we carry the babies doesn’t make us second class citizens.
The only constant in life is change…sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. There is no present, there is only the past and the future.
Contact Adrienne at: firstname.lastname@example.org