Monthly Archives: November 2008

Carpe diem

He’s 87, and tired. He sleeps 12 hours a day and can’t motivate himself to clean his desk or do the dishes. He’s worried about his wife who drinks too much. They got married young, during World War II, and he left almost immediately after the wedding to fight. They’ve been married 66 years now. When she drinks she gets angry and brings up grievances from years ago. He tells me that she has a right to be angry about some things, he was unfaithful to her forty years ago and wasn’t around as much as he should have been. But for the last twenty years he’s tried to be a good husband, fixing meals for her and bringing her breakfast in bed.

“I’m 87,” he says, “and I’m tired of being yelled at. And at this point, saying life is short is a bit of an understatement.”

66 years of marriage, through wars, births and deaths of children, infidelity, and who knows what else. He’s 87 and just now is realizing that life is short.

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My son sat on my lap facing me as I tickled him. He giggled, and then put on a serious face and said “No more tickles, Mama. ”

“Okay, then how about kisses?” I said.

“Yes, kisses!” he replied and bent forward to put his hands on the sides of my face. He turned my head to the left and planted a big kiss on my cheek. Then, he turned my head to the right, and again planted his lips right up against my cheek. But this time, instead of a kiss, he burped. He pulled his head back and studied my reaction, which of course was one of mixed disgust and laughter.

“Ewww!” I said, “I can’t believe you did that!”

He looked back at me, face perfectly seriously, and said “That was a burp kiss Mama, for you.” And then cracked up.

Life is short, indeed.

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