Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Denial of Middle Age

Sunday I had the pleasure of meeting some old former classmates of mine the weekend of our 30th college reunion. I had skipped out on the official parties (and later learned it was money well saved.) As we walked around campus, caught up with each other's lives, and reminisced, it felt like nothing had changed (after all the college is 240 years old). The good times we talked about seemed like yesterday.

Philip and I had traveled to France our freshman summer on a college trip with a well loved professor and I was inquiring about her. In discussing the professor's current age, I said, "She has to be 20 to 25 years old than we are." "Oh, no, she's older than that. She's at least in her 70's," he responded. "Philip, do the math." Then he thought and looked at me. "Good God, I forgot, we're in our 50's".

We still feel young but are in our early middle ages - that state of denial. Of course, reality comes back to me when I remember that my oldest daughter graduated from the very campus I was standing on - 4 years ago. And, my youngest daughter, "God willing and the creek don't rise," (as my Aunty used to say) will soon.

Thomas Wolfe may have said, You can't go home again, but with the right memories of the best times you certainly can relive those wonderful moments over and over. And, in them, you are forever young and the event is perfect. Of course, that is until an old friend reminds you that your memory is not exactly the way it happened.

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