Our Shrinking Generation

Our generation is shrinking – not in girth but in numbers. I attended another Memorial Service yesterday for one of our former social circle. That makes five in the past year or so. They all lived full, wonderful lives, but the holes they leave are very visible. We can sit around and tell great stories and laugh at remembered events, but THEIR laughter is missing.

Probably on every one’s mind, but unspoken, is “Who will be next?” “What will happen when I am gone?”

A word comes to mind – PREPARE. Spiritually, I am ready, but realistically I am not. There are photographs to label and organize; drawers and closets to clean and filter. Long over-due letters and cards to write, phone calls to make, friends to visit. Affairs to get in order.

As we observe the struggle of the families as they attend to the very necessary details of closing out a loved one’s life, we become aware of the pain and sorrow this sometimes causes. It should serve as a “kick in the butt” to get our own houses in order.

Some people are already very organized, but I am not. I have trouble just keeping up with today’s fast-paced life style. It may mean giving up something I WANT to do and concentrate on what I NEED to do. Funny, but that phrase sounds familiar. I seem to remember hearing it when I was young and maybe even saying it to my children. There are WANTS and NEEDS. We have to learn to identify the difference and govern ourselves accordingly. If I’m as smart as I think I am sometimes, maybe I’ll change my life style just a it and take care of some of the NEEDS so I’ll have more time to enjoy the WANTS.

For starters I’m going to stop dreaming that I will ever again wear that beautiful royal blue dress I made for a special party 30 years ago; same with the mauve dress I bought for my wedding 16 years ago, and on and on and on. Somebody out there somewhere is bound to NEED them.

Next, I’ll devote a part of every evening to up-dating photo albums and labeling and adding photos that are stored in umpteen boxes in the basement. Same thing with recipies I’ve collected from relatives and friends over the years. I know which drawer to look in and which scraps of paper contain delicious details, but I can’t expect my daugher and nieces to know that.

And while I’m at it, a list of assets and their location should be up-dated, as well as information about insurance and car title and deeds, etc. I was a terrific secretary to others, but my own filing system leaves a bit to be desired.

I want to leave my children a legacy, but not one that identifis me as a haphazzard pack-rat. When that shrinking circle of friends gathers, I want to be able to laugh WITH them from beyond, not cringe as they laugh AT me and moan about the mess I left.

It’s something to think about.

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