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January 12, 2006 [ More archived home pages here ]
Young Feelings From An Older Man
Today's song is, Old Man by Neil Young released in 1972.
When Sherry and I married, we lived in a very small wooden cabin without running water in a small Wisconsin farm town. We love those days gone bye and still think of those first five months of marriage there as some of our best times in life. We slept in the loft of that cabin and we often looked out the window into the woods all around us. We loved when the moon was full in the night sky, spreading moonbeams throughout the forest. Almost every night we played our music on my small tape recorder. We liked the music of Neil Young, especially his album, Harvest. "Old Man" is one of my favorite selections from that album. I used to consider when I played it in that cabin how I would feel when I got older. Some of those ramifications are coming true as I age.
In many ways, I still think of myself as a twenty-five year-old guy. I'm still an incurable romantic on life and always thinking of ways to improve life around me. My wife of almost 33 years keeps me young with her smile and close attention in matters of the heart. My daughter and other extended family members are part of my life that keeps me going. I am surrounded by many friends and others who are spread out around the world. All together as a whole, I've lived a very good life. The ups and downs provided insights and understanding to help me know who I am and to help others when I can.
For over ten years now, Sherry and I have practiced empty nesting. We raised our daughter to be independent and that allowed her to enjoy her personal freedom when she was eighteen. She was secure in her own feelings when we moved away from the Chicago area to San Diego. It made the transition for us moving here easier. Distance doesn't change the feelings between parents and children in a loving family. Whether parents live nearby or across the world, love of family remains paramount. At least that's what we've discovered in our family.
What the years of my life taught me is that we all are really here for a very short time in the grand scheme of things. We should share what we learn, share our love for one another as that emotion is felt between us. Sharing love feels great and I often wonder why that emotion isn't expressed more often between people who obviously feel it between them.
Love is a respectful condition and the totality of what one feels for another should be conveyed in appropriate terms. Smiles often set that tone and indicate what words or actions could or should not. Respect of the total person is another paramount condition of love. To love another for only certain attributes is often indicative of something other than love, perhaps lust. The more lust is in a relationship, the less love is present, in my humble opinion. When I was a teenager, I mistakenly thought otherwise and learned through pain and heartache from misinterpretations of those experiences. Some of you will understand better than others what I mean, probably from your own experiences in youth.
I'm still learning in life. That learning process never ends. I learn from older people and I learn from the young. Age is not an indicator of knowledge or wisdom. A true heart expressing from within is the best indicator of what is important in life. As I said above, perhaps people should consider expressing what is within more openly in the spirit of love and sharing. As a pathfinder, an artist, an author, a lover, a friend, I practice what I preach. When I fail in those endeavors, I reach out with apology and ask for forgiveness and understanding. Then I'm usually accepted back into the fold of those I offended.
I needed to be a bit more revealing today. I've been holding on to very wonderful news for nearly three weeks now. I've never had to hold my "virtual breath" for so long. ;-)
Two days before Christmas, Sherry and I were informed that we will be grandparents this August! This is our first grandchild and we have swung into high gear with our love and feelings for our daughter and her husband, Michael. Michael's parents are just as excited as we are and the whole expectation grows with every email and phone call exchanged. As soon as I found out the news, my fatherly, now grandfatherly genes started kicking-in again as they did 30 years ago when Sherry was pregnant with Jenny. The target date is August 12, 2006. I'm predicting it will be August 16, 2006, just because that day of that month has mattered in other events in my life.
Last week, I gave a speech at my Twin Oaks Toastmasters club. The subject was the story of my life since Jenny was born and I presented it without notes for the entire 8+ minutes directly in front of the audience as is the preferred delivery technique in our club. I conveyed the emotion of the speech without becoming overwhelmed and I present it below for your review. The title is, First, I Cried and was my second advanced speech from the Storytelling manual towards my ATM-Bronze award.
First, I cried when I saw her. A moment before she was yet unborn, then before my eyes, she arrived in our world and drew her first breathe of air. She announced her presence with a cry. Her name is Jenny and I have listened intently since.
To say aloud I feel all those young feelings again by this older man is a great sense of exhilaration!
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