briefly, on being ageless and thankful

An old high school teacher found me out about town today. Amidst the catching up and small talk–kids, life, unemployment, the uszgh–she mentioned that it was hard to see me as not as I was in high school.

This terrifies me.

I can grow old, but apparently I can never age. Never mind the fact that teachers can point out old students blindfolded clear across county lines, I was just told that I might as well be 17. For many of you, that is a compliment. For me, not so much. Part and parcel of being in public in one’s hometown is the reality that to everyone, you are who you were.

I largely do not like who I was 15 years ago.

Regardless, I showed pictures of las beañas to her and caught her up on life since they came on the scene, the dangers wife and I faced as expecting parents, nearly losing them once, nearly losing another again, weeks in the NICU, another week of bowel rest, how fortunate we are to have happy healthy little rats running around.

Indeed, nothing allows gratitude to well up than to look back and see what perils we overcame to be where we are. Talking of all the crap we’ve waded through just to continue being made me impossibly happy and thankful.

Then I look at where we are right now and the challenges we face, looking forward to the day when I can be grateful for the blessings–now largely veiled from cognizance–that sustain us. I do not deny that our little family faces serious circumstances; I deny that they will sap us of our joy and hope.

I may not be thrilled that I am who I was, but nothing will make me happier than the fact that, right now, I am and we are.


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