Yesterday, my Grandfather Halbot celebrated his 85th birthday. And I was fortunate enough to be present for that. To celebrate a long life, to celebrate a life well lived. My grandfather, at least in my opinion, is a kindred spirit. He’s kind, and kinda weird, like me. He’ll dance and sing just to have a laugh. And I’ll forever see his silhouette in the hallway doorframe of his home. Calling to me, while he does a little jig.
“The Crystal Chandelier lights up the paintings on the wall…” is a tune he sings.
And I began to think about where I’d want to be at his age. Who would I want to be? What are my aspirations in this lifetime? What do I need to do, to feel okay with shutting my eyes at life’s end. At this life’s end. And, well, what is the meaning of all of this anyways? this life anyway?
He’s lived and loved for 85 years.
Last night as I sat with my grandparents in their own home, where they live independently, I listened to their stories. To them telling their stories while they, themselves, reflected back on their own lives, on experiences that I never experienced. People I have never known.
All my grandparents father’s passed away long before I was ever born. I didn’t know them. And they didn’t know me.
But you know what? The stories I’m hearing about them are not related to their jobs, to their income, to their careers. The stories I’m hearing about these people, these people I never knew, my great grandparents are stories of the funny things that they did, the jokes they told, the love they shared, the cards they played, and the love they had for life itself. And for their children. My grandparents.
And who am I hearing these stories from? Not their bosses, or their colleagues, but from my 85 year old grandfather and my 92 year old grandma, who were, as hard as it is to imagine, once both children themselves. And it’s reminding me that family is the most important thing that there is in this life. More important even than poutine? Well. Yes. Much more important.
So, what do I want to be remembered for? I know that I want to be remembered for living a life well lived.
So, what does that mean to me?
Well, today I’m not even really sure. I am going to think about it. I’m going to sleep on it, again tonight, and I’ll get back to you, when I have some kind of answer.
What is it that I want to accomplish in this short lifetime? What do you want to accomplish?
I do hope my own grandchildren love me as much as I love my grandparents. And that the stories that my children tell about me, long after I am gone, are filled with as much love and adoration.
But I don’t even have children yet. And maybe that’s not even in the cards for me. Who knows?
So, where will this life take me? And what is it I want out of it? What do you want out of yours?