And so I am retired! It seems strange to even say it! Isn’t that something that only . . . well . . . OLD people do? Like people my parents’ age? How did I get here?
At gatherings I look in crowds for those I might know in my age range, only to realize I’m looking at the 50-year-olds. I have to remind myself that the faces I should be sifting through are either more rounded or more withered or both. I’ve been skipping past the wrinkled and white-haired, dismissively thinking, “old man” or “old lady.” When I look closer, instead of generic geriatrics I find the eyes and features of friends from long ago. cleverly hidden in their new disguises. Then I wonder, “Will they know ME?”
It’s sexagenarian hide-and-seek! We find each other with the joy of discovering treasure. We celebrate like pirates unearthing hidden gold. We each recover a lost piece of our previous lives that we thought was only confined to memory. However close we may or may not have been before, we are bound by the knowledge that for both of us the intervening thirty or forty years have undoubtedly brought joy and sorrow, triumphs and tragedies, tests and trials. We are linked to each other by that realization and jubilant in our new commonality: we have SURVIVED!! I may not know who you have become, we may not have been terribly close in the first place, but by golly, we’re both still standing! Or sitting, or leaning on our walkers – but we’re still here! We made it this far! Let the party begin!