Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Another Milestone

I know, I know, it's been a shamefully long time since I've plopped myself in front of the computer to dedicate the time to write to you all. Time passes far too quickly anymore.

Nonetheless, I am enduring my surgical recovery from foot surgery (congenital flat feet, age and gravity) which had me off my feet for two months and doing the Walter Brennan impression for a few more weeks yet. I've enjoyed seeing class birthdays, and relocations and kids' marriages and new grandchildren over the past few months on FB. Milestones passing, almost day by day, most happy, some sad. In particular, I'm thinking about Carol Vanderway who recently moved to Tennessee but lost her beloved horse of 32 years.

Now that I'm about ready to bust out of the house like a real boy instead of Long John Silver, (aaargh, Matey), I note a milestone of my own.

In mid 1959, my dad piled us into the car in Stamford, CT for a long drive to the wilds of Wayne NJ. He drove us to a wooded site off Berdan Avenue and stood outside the car with his arms extended and announced that this was where his new office was going to be. American Cyanamid was relocating from rented offices in the Time-Life building in Manhattan to a new headquarters in Wayne. That was my introduction to Wayne. By fall of 1960, I was sitting in a classroom in Anthony Wayne JHS being the new kid.

This winter, after 55 years, my folks are finally moving from our Brandon Avenue home in the old Wedgewood Development up the hill from Mountain View. They have a condo in McClean VA,where my sister and niece reside, that will be their new headquarters. The old Wayne house, the family center for so many years, will probably go on the market in February or March depending on what the realtor can convince my folks to do to the house to make it "market ready".

As they pack and discard ( Unbelievably, they have accumulated more stuff than I have, so you can imagine the sheer volume of stuff contained by that house), memories flow freely. Flexible Flyer sleds, family photos from China, my grandfather's pastels, my mothers Chinese paintings, books books books. Keepsakes from 10 years in Taiwan; all memories from the march of time. Good memories but the same kind of sadness I felt when I saw Anthony Wayne JHS become a senior facility, a gentle feeling of loss to which I am really barely entitled.

On the one hand, I am happy that my folks came to the conclusion on their own that they could no longer keep up with the demands of the big house and yard; that we didn't have to go through that potential struggle. They have arrived at that conclusion with a magnanimity that I don't think I will be able to muster when that same time comes for me. (I've already told Linda I'm not moving again regardless!). On the other, almost ineffably, the torch is being passed to my sister and me. Don't get me wrong. I am fortunate to be born into a long lived family (3 grandparents who were centenarians), and my parents, in their late eightys and early nineties, are cogent, alert and healthy. Like the Beatles refrain: Everyday they got a little bit older, a little bit slower.

So life is change and nothing stays the same, and as my parents prepare for their next chapter, I sit here recovering from an age surgery hoping that I will approach my next chapters with as much grace and poise as my parents. That it may be so for all of my classmates as well.

1 comment:

  1. The best to your folks on this new chapter in their lives and to you for a speedy recovery!