Turns out. This is 40.
- My father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and spent my 40th year on the planet battling uphill against odds, his mother suffers from severe dementia.
- My aunt died of a heart attack at 63.
- I visit grandparents and see the tiny slices taken out of their memories, discussions that seem like constant changing of channels on the remote. And, I know that will be me.
- I applied for and didn't get a job I was qualified to do, watching people with lesser qualifications--and far less dedication--hurdle past me in the profession.
- I signed up for two races that I never competed in due to injury.
- I herniated my L4 disc and can no longer walk correctly, feel my ankle, calf, and big toe.
- I may never get to run again, which was the one truly 'Adam' thing I did, solely and selfishly for myself.
But this too is 40.
- My son has caught my love of reading, sitting in the chair vicariously living lives through words.
- My mind is sharper than it's ever been, and I'm laughing and smiling more than I ever had in my 20's.
- My daughter sings to herself, dances without reason, and gives emotions and personalities to inanimate objects. I stare at her in wonder. Nothing less than magical.
- Some afternoons I see my wife sparkle, and I remember that spunky whistler who rode her motorcycle home from photo class at 2am in LA darkness.
- My students see a father in me, deferent in a way different than before.
- My extended family lives closely, helps consistently, and loves deeply. My kids (unlike me) will know their grandparents, know they are loved, and know warm family dinners.
I don't know what to make of 40. Tragedy? Contentment? Tragic contentment?