I miss all my old people. Funny thing is that I didn’t miss most of them much after they died. They were well-old enough to die naturally. I doubt they were in much more pain at death than they were over the last few months of life. All those aches and pains probably got some relief when the power shut off to their brains. Anniversaries of all my old great aunts and uncles are scattered throughout the year. Sometimes I remember, sometimes it’s just another day. Of course at the time they departed there were tears and feelings of empty sadness, but life kept me moving forward.
Now, years later, it is a different kind of sadness. My emotions have forgotten that they are dead. Gramma and Grampa are just at their house a few towns over. Or so it feels. The sadness comes when I feel the need to pick up the phone and call them as if they are in their 60s, alive and well. I don’t remember them so much as the frail, elderly people who I saw pass away. I remember them active and relatively young enough to be a source of information and entertainment (stories of days gone by).
I miss the little things. How they acted so interested in me. How they looked down on me with a smile that people only give children in their family. I can remember my great aunt’s face, all old and wrinkled, when she smiled as if she thought I was so cool. She was born in 1909. To her a game boy was beyond even a Jules Vern novel.
It’s weird for me to miss things about the past. I don’t miss many things that people normally do. Like my childhood friends. We were going to be friends forever and now I loath the thought of ever having to awkwardly run into any of them around town. I never had a reason to dislike all my old people. They were situations to manage of course, but that was a given need for a elderly family member. Unlike my old friends, nothing else in life has fully filled the void left by that by-gone generation.
There’s nothing to do with these feelings about them. I can reminisce with those who knew them too. Or look through old family photos. but it all just leads to the same thing, welling up in tears of sadness that gets stronger with the thought that my parent’s generation is next.