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The Future’s Not Ours To See

Today my Mom would have turned 78, and nothing would have made me happier than to wish her a happy day in person.  She didn’t live to see her 57th birthday, so the only wishes I convey are those I set free into the universe.  Harriet was the kind of mother who believed in her children 100%.  We could do anything--everything--and I never wanted to do any less than that because of her unwavering support and encouragement.

I generally don’t enjoy melodramatic or maudlin shows on TV, but there was no game worth watching Sunday night and so I watched, and cried, through “Desperate Housewives”.  A teenage son’s mother dies; a woman who lived life in the proverbial fast lane because she proclaimed to know she’d die before she turned 50.   Of course I started thinking about my mother’s untimely passing (though her idea of fast times was watching a Mel Brooks’ movie), and it led me to take a long, hard look at mine as I tossed and turned, unable to sleep.  The Housewife who died lived her life to the fullest, knowing her days were short.  But what if we live for the long run but get shut down long before we planned, like my Mom?

Since I’ve used up all my savings and resources to get by these past two years, I’ll never be able to buy a 50 foot boat and cruise to Hawaii or Greece.  Nor will I be likely to distribute malaria nets to indigents in Africa.  And despite my Mom’s confidence, I probably don’t have the Great American Novel in me, even if I became flush enough to live by the sea and just write morning, noon, and night. And being President or an MLB national play-by-play announcer both seem unachievable, though that “first” goal my Mom articulated in the 1970’s for me is still sadly there for the taking in both fields.

So if I cannot plan how long I’ll live, and cannot hope to achieve any form of the idealized life that only seems desirable when we’re daydreaming with our Mothers, what am I waiting for?  Am I getting by every day in the expectation that some day in the future things will be better?  What if things never improve, and/or I never get to see too far in the future? No one has answers, I know, but the questions deserve asking, if we are determined to live lives that are all about investing in--and waiting for--the future, instead of savoring each day as if it were our last.

We now conclude this episode of “Soul Searching”.  Thanks for tuning in.  Happy birthday, Mom!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 22nd, 2009 01:12 am (UTC)
What a beautiful tribute to your wonderful mom! Happy Birthday to her! How proud she would be of you!
Apr. 22nd, 2009 11:06 am (UTC)
Thank you so very, very much.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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