Here’s a very short story I wrote earlier this year that encapsulates a lot of what 2018 was for me. Some introspection, some awareness of aging, and growth all around me.
“How old are you?” she asked.
“36,” I replied. I know where she’s going with this.
“How long until you’ll be 100?”
“A long time.”
“How old will you be after 100?”
“And after that?”
“102.” I start to imagine myself here at our old family cabin on Pinecrest Lake when I’m 102. She would be just turning 70. A hazy sadness wafts over me.
“And after that then you’ll die?”
“Yes, probably.” She’s not even four yet. Why is she thinking about this right now?
She rolls over toward me in the tiny wooden bunk where I slept when I was her age and grips my hand. Her fingers are smooth and tiny, soft and warm to the touch. I trace them gently.
“I love you,” she whispers.
“Lily, I love you so much,” I whisper back.
After a few minutes she’s asleep.