The Oldest Generation

As I was tooling around yesterday in the car, flitting here and there, a song I had not heard before came on the radio.  According to the DJ it was a new song by Jason Mraz, 93,000,000 miles.  I like many of his songs and this one caught my attention.
The lyrics contain the following:

oh my beautiful mother
She told me, “Son in life you’re gonna go far, and if you do it right you’ll love where you are
Just know, that wherever you go, you can always come home”

Much to my surprise, my eyes welled with tears and my throat constricted as I started to cry.  Because, it hit me, I can’t go home.  My mother passed away last February and my father passed away, on the same day 11 years before that.  In reality, I am “the Home.”  I am the parent now, the oldest generation.  There is no one I can go home to when I need that reassuring hug from mom or dad.  No one to consult for advice.  No one to remember me as a child.  No parent to share holidays with.  No one to visit and find sitting in the small home I grew up in that always felt like it hugged me as I walked in the door.
Being the oldest generation is a huge responsibility; one that my parents and generations before them endured.  Some with grace, others struggling through their whole lives.  As the oldest parent, you are shouldered with the duty of being the consultant.  The keeper of family lore.  The one who remains calm and in control in a crisis, so that others can look to you for their strength.  That is a lot to take on, even at 54 years old.  I know I can do all of these life requirements and more, after all I have been doing many of them for years.  It just makes me sad.  I never realized how much I enjoyed the comfort of knowing mom and dad were always there for me if I needed them.  And I miss that.

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4 thoughts on “The Oldest Generation

  1. I heard this song and didn’t cry. I read your story…and I did. I often say that the elderly deserve our respect the most, and get it the least. We might think they’re “telling that same story over and over.” Yet when they’re gone, we say to ourselves, “Now how did that story go again?” What gives me peace is that I listened, and am now the Keeper of the Stories! And you, my dear, are an excellent writer and hopefully writing down every memory that will last forever. That is how our parents live on!

  2. As I was watching the last golden leaves falling from the birch tree in my front yard, I remembered back a few years watching that same tree shed its leaves while listening to my parents on the phone. They had called me to ask how I was and listened with love and concern to my idle chatter about the trials and tribulations of my life. I felt loved and comforted. How I wish I could pick up the phone and hear their voices today. You hit an emotional chord with me once again, Posey. Your writing is so powerful. It evokes feelings and memories that have been bubbling beneath the surface. I marvel at them as they rise and burst out of my heart like ripples on water. Thank you, dear sister of my heart!

  3. I remember being with my sisters at the hospital after our Mother died and thinking I am now an orphan and feeling so bereft that my daily conversations and the advice my Mother gave me were no more. I was now the “keeper of the flame”. Cling to your sisters and their memories and pass all on to your daughters. We are truly “Steel Magnolias”.

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