I feel a day late and a dollar short as it is now Halloween night. Despite its joys and excitement, I am glad to see the month end. October is one of the busiest times of the year for my family, in a good way, and I'm ready to hunker in and focus on all things domestic: my house (and Chickabiddy Cottage), my writing, and preparations for the (simple, joyful) holidays.
This is also the beginning of my 50th year. I can't quite believe it. 49 feels good but it also is providing the impetus for change in many ways: better health habits, setting good boundaries, and asking myself, what is it that I want to do with the next 50 years, God willing? Those are just personal goals–there are many that I have for my family, too, but those are shared. We've settled into our Kentucky lives fairly well and now it's time to micromanage the details and the dreams. The realization is also here that no longer can I idle away any goals by saying, "some day" because, let's face it, I was saying some of those same things twenty-five years ago, half my lifetime to this point.
Yesterday I read the eulogy that novelist Mona Simpson wrote about her brother Steve Jobs that appeared in the October 30th edition of The New York Times. Perhaps you have read it, too. If not, do yourself a favor and stop reading this post now and read it. I wept throughout because her words were lovely but also because of what she was sharing. Here is a man, not much older than myself, who has changed the way we communicate with the world. His life was a series of extraordinary accomplishments and a few setbacks. While he was known for his perfectionism, his sister portrayed him as a romantic who also knew all of the names of the English roses. What especially got me were his last words, as he looked beyond his wife and children on his death bed in that most intimate and sorrowful of moments that some of us are privy to share with someone we love.
His sister writes:
"But with that will, that work ethic, that strength, there was also sweet Steve's capacity for wonderment, the artist's belief in the ideal, the still more beautiful later.
Steve's final words, hours earlier, were monosyllables, repeated three times.
Before embarking, he'd looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them.
Steve's final words were:
OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW."I want to continue to live, and eventually die, with that feeling of "OH WOW."
You come back when you're ready!