Life has been emerging in themes for me lately. One theme close to the surface these days has been ‘aging’. My parents passed when I was in my 40’s, and although I would have loved to have had more time with them, I also feel grate-ful to have that part of my journey, that big ‘letting go’ step, behind me as I see so many of my friends walking that complex journey now with their par-ents.
Not only because of my up-coming birthday, but this particular theme of aging was nudged forward recently when my dear friend, Pop, passed at 102. I treasure that I was with him on his 99th birthday when he renewed his driver’s test with flying colors. Although we all knew that he had to go sometime, we were amazed by his resilience and my heart broke open wide when word of the final exhale came.
Spending time with Pop was always a treat. He has been in my life since I was 16. I can remember asking him near his 100th birthday as we stood before the push-pin decorated map of all the places he had visited in his life which was his favorite. His reply reflected Pop’s impish guru essence.
Pop remains a significant male role-model in my life, especially since the pass-ing of my own dad. He is my joy mentor, my sky-diving partner at 80, my hel-icopter pilot over poppy fields, orange peeler all-in-one-piece magician, my fa-ther energy who taught me the power of few words, and tolerant, playful grandfather figure to my kids and grandkids.
With his passing marks the end of an era, and yet his story of life will live on. His gift is the reminder to love every moment just as it is, and at some point deciding to have ice cream on your breakfast cereal simply because you can.