Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Obliterated



My past is being obliterated. My friend Barby died on Monday, and now Dave Brubeck, the day before his 92nd birthday.  Damn. 

Hey death! Time out. Take Five. 

The Greatest Generation, the one that survived World War II, is almost gone.  That would be my grandparents’ and my parents’ generation. Well some might consider that two generations, but the last soldier is about to die. Now one of my all-time-favorite jazz musicians is gone. 

The children of the greatest generation, born let’s say between the 1940s and 1960s, my generation, are going next: boomers (1946-1964), hippies, yippies, suburbanites, feminists, Civil Rights pioneers, anti-Vietnam War heroes.  Some of us still sing “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land.”  Most of us remember where we were when JFK was assassinated and the Beatles came to America.  We came through the murders of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, then went through Watergate and its aftermath.  We remember  Bob Dylan.  Heck, some of us remember when "Time Out"  came out, still have the album.  .

I hate having my past obliterated like this, one person, icon, soulmate, friend and loved one at a time. 

Grandson Chase at piano:
A future Dave Brubeck?
My parents died.  My brother died.  Elizabeth Taylor died.  Ray Bradbury died.  My favorite actors, authors and artists are gone or going. My whole social and cultural fabric is unraveling, thread by thread, day by day.    My past is being obliterated.  

"Fran, hold on a minute!"  That's my brother Loren whispering in my ear.  I hear some jazz music in the background. 

"There's a bright spot.  A new cultural fabric is being woven, by your kids' kids and their kids' kids.  Remember, you're a great-grandmother now.  You have Chase and Philip bringing up the rear, so to speak. They will grow up with new amazing talents.  They will grow up remembering you, and your generation. They will mark time by their favorite artists and musicians, and carry the memories into another century.  They will carry on from where you leave off, extraordinary people and ordinary people who together will create the life we are given, the life we give, the live we leave."

"Okay, Loren.  Great spin on death and dying. I 'll go with it, for now." 
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